UN Seeks End to South Sudan Violence

UN Seeks End to South Sudan ViolenceUN Seeks End to South Sudan Violence

The UN Security Council has called on warring factions in South Sudan to immediately end the recent fighting and prevent the spread of violence.

In a unanimous statement, the council condemned the fighting “in the strongest terms” and expressed “particular shock and outrage” at attacks on UN sites.

It also called for additional peacekeepers as a response. Hundreds are reported to have died in clashes since Friday, BBC reported.

Forces loyal to Vice President Riek Machar say government troops supporting President Salva Kiir attacked their positions in the capital, Juba.

A UN spokeswoman in Juba, Shantal Persaud, said the latest fighting had caused hundreds of internally displaced people to take refuge in UN premises.

She said both South Sudanese leaders were responsible for implementing last year’s peace agreement, which included a permanent ceasefire and the deployment of forces away from Juba.

Information Minister Michael Makuei said the situation in the city was now “under full control” and civilians who had fled should return to their homes.

Machar’s military spokesman, Col William Gatjiath, accused officials loyal to the president of lying, and said there had been at least 10 hours of clashes on Sunday.

“The situation in South Sudan is uncontrollable because Salva Kiir and his followers are not ready to follow the peace agreement,” he said.

UN officials said a Chinese peacekeeper was killed and several Chinese and Rwandan troops injured.

In a statement on Sunday, the US State Department said it strongly condemned the latest outbreak of fighting in Juba. Spokesman John Kirby said Washington had ordered the departure of non-emergency personnel from the US Embassy in Juba.

The violence has raised fears of renewed instability, with a 2015 peace deal failing to quell unrest.

Friday’s exchanges were apparently sparked by a shootout between President Kiir’s and Machar’s bodyguards. The two men met at the presidential palace the same day and issued a call for calm.