The UN secretary general has cautioned against breach of cease-fire in South Sudan.
Ban Ki-moon told the UN Security Council on Monday that
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar, should cooperate with each other in a bid to terminate the crisis that has gripped the country since December 2013.
“If the conflict continues, half of South Sudan’s 12 million people will either be displaced internally, refugees abroad, starving or dead by the year’s end,” the UN chief stated.
South Sudanese army soldiers and rebels have once again engaged in heavy clashes, breaking a fresh ceasefire deal that was sealed in Ethiopia on May 9.
On Monday, South Sudanese officials said Machar was not in control of his forces. They also accused an armed militia of attacking government troops in the oil-producing state of Upper Nile.
Recently, Amnesty International accused both government forces and rebels in South Sudan of committing “horrific atrocities” against humanity.
Violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, following fighting between troops loyal to President Kiir and defectors led by his sacked deputy, Machar, around the capital, Juba.
The conflict soon turned into an all-out war between the army and the defectors, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
Clashes have so far claimed thousands of lives and displaced over 1.2 million people.