April 15, 2016 (JUBA) - The U.N mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has urged the warring parties to silence guns and demonstrate responsibility as violence escalates.
Moustapha Soumaré, the acting special representative of the Secretary-General, said peacekeepers are pushing for access to the conflict areas in order to protect civilians.
The U.N mission confirmed that there has been fighting between government troops (SPLA) and the opposition forces in Raga, located west of Waat in Jonglei state.
Soumaré said the Easter, the Christians’ holy festival period should symbolise reconciliation and rebirth of hope, calling on leaders from all sides to embrace peace.
"They must show restraint and demonstrate their responsibility to ensure the sanctity of life of all South Sudanese citizens," Soumaré said in a statement issued Saturday.
The UN has deployed in vital areas to protect civilians, despite the challenges they face. He, however, said there can be no military solution to the conflict, but "through a political solution."
“They must once and for all silence the guns, return to dialogue, reconcile their differences and bring the peace the South Sudanese people want and deserve," he stressed.
Fighting between armed forces loyal to ex-First Vice President Riek Machar and government surged recently, including the clashes in Eastern Equatoria state town bordering Uganda, Pajok and Wau in the north-west of the country.
Thousands of people have fled to Uganda from Pajok and 13,500 others were received at the UNMISS protection of civilians sites in Wau after the clashes.