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UN chief urges South Sudan president to resume talks with rebel leader Machar

June 26, 2014 (JUBA) – The United Nations secretary-general met on Thursday with South Sudanese president Salva Kiir and urged the latter to resume talks with opposition leader, Riek Machar, in the context of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-led process.

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UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon (L) and South Sudanese president Salva Kiir address reporters in the capital, Juba, on 6 May 2014 (Photo: Isaac Alebe/UNMISS)

Ban Ki-Moon, his spokesperson said in a statement, also told president Kiir to ensure the full implementation of the 9 June agreement signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by both warring parties.

“The secretary-general informed the President [Kiir] that he had conveyed a similar message to Mr. Riek Machar, and called on the two parties to rapidly agree on the composition of the transitional government,” partly reads the statement.

Ki-moon and president Kiir met at the African Union summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea and discussed the South Sudan situation.

The IGAD mediators announced on Monday in Addis Ababa that they had adjourned the peace talks indefinitely over inclusivity crisis of the other stakeholders who were to join the negotiations.

The mediation team would also travel to New York to recommend to the UN Security Council (UNSC) an action to take against the two parties, possibly targeted sanctions.

Machar reportedly wrote to the UN secretary-general explaining his position over stalled IGAD-mediated peace talks with Kiir’s government. He however expressed his delegation’s readiness for direct talks with their government counterparts as required by the mediators.

Meanwhile, Ki-moon called on the president Kiir to continue fighting impunity and ensure full accountability for human rights violations committed in South Sudan.

He reportedly informed the South Sudanese leader of the steps taken by the world body to beef up the capacities of its mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), consistent with the relevant Security Council resolution, to enhance the protection of civilians and support the verification mechanism set up to monitor the implementation of the 9 June Agreement.

In late April and May, French and United States diplomats at the UNSC were reportedly considering a resolution to impose sanctions on the South Sudanese leaders.

(ST)