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Saturday, 09 August 2014 07:04

UN threatens South Sudan with bans over conflict

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has threatened to impose sanctions on the warring factions in South Sudan for their failure to resolve the ongoing conflict in the African country.

 

In a unanimous statement, released on Friday, the 15-member council urged South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his former deputy and current rebel leader Riek Machar to implement a ceasefire.

The statement said that the actions by the warring sides “in continuing to pursue a military solution to this conflict are unacceptable.”

Under a peace deal signed three months ago, Kiir and Machar agreed to establish a unity government by August 10. However, there are no signs that the two sides are making efforts to meet that deadline.

This prompted the UNSC to express “its readiness to consider... all appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions against those who take action that undermines the peace, stability and security of South Sudan.”

The warning comes ahead of a visit to South Sudan by UN Security Council ambassadors next week.

South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to Kiir and defectors led by Machar around the capital Juba.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war between the army and defectors, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

Last month, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned of the rising number of people forced to flee from their homes in South Sudan, estimating more than 700,000 refugees by the end of the year.

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