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UN Security Council condemns fighting in South Sudan capital

July 10, 2016 (JUBA) - The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has "strongly condemned" the outbreak of fighting in the South Sudan capital, Juba between armed forces loyal to president Salva Kiir and the country’s first vice president, Riek Machar.

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A United Nations Security Council session (UN)

"The members of the Security Council acknowledged the formation of an investigation committee and urged the Transitional Government of National Unity to quickly investigate these attacks, take steps to end the fighting, reduce tensions, and hold those responsible for the attacks to account," partly reads the UNSC statement.

The council statement came after the renewed fighting took place on July 7-8 between soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA in Opposition in Juba, reportedly leaving at least 110 soldiers killed.

The fighting broke out after escalation of conflict in other parts of the country in recent weeks, disrupting lives and livelihoods.

"The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of members of military forces being held accountable for their actions and emphasized the importance of command and control," the statement noted.

The council members called on the SPLA, the SPLA in Opposition and all other armed actors to cease hostilities and to allow the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) and humanitarian actors access to civilians in need, said the statement.

"The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern over the parties’ lack of serious commitment to implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan and called upon the parties to work together in the Transitional Government of National Unity to resolve their differences in the spirit of cooperation," the statement said.

Meanwhile, the 15-member Council welcomed the joint statement made by the president, first vice president, and vice president appealing for calm among citizens.

"The members of the Security Council demanded the parties expedite implementation of all aspects of the Agreement, including key provisions on transitional security arrangements, as a means to restoring peace in South Sudan."

"On the fifth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, the members of the Security Council urged South Sudan’s leaders to demonstrate leadership that will bring lasting peace and security to South Sudan," the statement said.

South Sudan has canceled this year’s independence celebrations due to the economic crunch resulting from more than two years of civil conflict. It won independence on July 9, 2011 from Sudan after more than two decades of war that ended in a bitter divorce.

The country again plunged into conflict in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup, which the latter denied, leading to a cycle of retaliatory killings.

President Kiir and former rebel leader Machar signed a peace deal in August last year for the formation of the transitional national unity government to end over two years of civil war.

(ST)