South Sudan

Ban Telephones Kiir as Fighting Rages On


check geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>In a telephone call with the President, Mr. Ban expressed “grave concern” about ongoing hostilities and called for an “immediate” end to all military operations, his spokesperson said.

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Mr. Kiir and Mr. Machar met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May, to agree to end fighting after the 23 January Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities failed to stem what is now a six-month-old conflict.

The fighting, which has already uprooted over one million people, including 75,000-80,000 civilians who have sought safety at UN peacekeeping bases around the country, continues.

Recent reports indicate that rebels last weekend carried out heavy attacks on three towns with the view of capturing the strategic town of Nasir.

Government said it would not carry out any military operations against rebels but that it would respond when provoked.

As part of the May agreement, the two South Sudanese officials agreed to meet on a monthly basis to review progress in the implementation of the accord.

Kiir is expected in Ethiopia before close of this week under the auspices of IGAD.

War broke out in South Sudan in December last year, with Kiir accusing former Vice President, Riek Machar of conspiring to overthrow his government.

Machar denies the allegations, saying Kiir used the disagreements in the SPLM meeting to get rid of “reformists” within the system ahead of the 2015 elections.

Mr. Ban urged the President to meet with Mr. Machar to “reach an agreement on substantive issues, including transitional arrangements,” the spokesperson said.

He also called on President Kiir to extend his full support to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in the implementation of its new mandate, as set out by the Security Council at the end of last month.

The new mandate extends the work of UNMISS until 30 November of this year, and gives priority to protecting civilians and to addressing the security, humanitarian and political crisis that has gripped the nation in recent months.

The head of UNMISS, Hilde F. Johnson, announced last week that she will be stepping down from her post in July. No replacement has yet been announced.


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