December 16, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese leaders bear the primary responsibility of betraying the people’s trust and bringing the country to ruins and more misery, Ban Ki Moon, the outgoing United Nations Secretary General said on Friday.
- Ban Ki-moon (Photo UN)
“President Salva Kiir has pursued an ethnically-based strategy to suppress dissent, muzzle the media, exclude significant South Sudanese actors in the peace process and unilaterally implement an agreement to reach elections,” Ki moon wrote in an op-ed article.
He added, “Fighting has now spread across the country”.
Ki moon said actions by South Sudanese leaders, including rebel leader Riek Machar and other armed opposition actors were intensifying the conflict and manipulating ethnicity for political gain.
Since the conflict broke out in December 2013, tens of thousands of people have been killed and over two million displaced in the country’s worst-ever outbreak of violence since its independence.
“The social fabric of South Sudan has been shattered. The economy is in ruins. Millions have been displaced from their homes. Hunger and poverty are rampant,” said the outgoing UN Secretary General.
“Today, more than 6 million people in South Sudan require life-saving aid. As the conflict intensifies, that number is rapidly growing,” he added.
He decried what he described as the restrictions imposed by the Government of South Sudan on the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and humanitarian organizations continue to tighten.
He said risks of mass atrocities, which include recurring episodes of ethnic cleansing, escalating into possible genocide is all too real.
“Yet while the people of South Sudan suffer, the Security Council and the region stand divided. This has merely allowed time to mobilize resources to continue the slaughter,” he further stressed.
The outgoing Secretary General urged the Security Council to impose an arms embargo and targeted sanctions to change the calculations of the parties and convince them to choose the path of peace.
“In addition, accountability is crucial so that those responsible for these despicable crimes face justice—from the highest levels to the foot soldiers following orders,” said Ki moon.
“Time is running out as the warring parties ready themselves for another vicious cycle of violence after the end of the rainy season. The responsibility for restoring an inclusive dialogue is squarely on all the leaders of the country,” he further added.
Meanwhile, the outgoing United States president, Barrack Obama said he felt responsible when millions of people had been displaced. I feel responsible for murder and slaughter that’s taken place in South Sudan that’s not being reported on partly because there’s not as much social media being generated from there.
“There are places around the world where horrible things are happening, and because of my office, because I’m President of the United States, I feel responsible. I ask myself every single day, is there something I could do that would save lives and make a difference and spare some child who doesn’t deserve to suffer,” said Obama.