United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has condemned the ongoing fighting in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, between rival forces in the country.
“I am deeply alarmed by the ongoing fighting in Juba between soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA in Opposition,” said Ki Moon in a statement on Friday.
“This outbreak of hostilities in the capital, on the eve of the country’s fifth anniversary of independence, is yet another illustration of the parties’ lack of serious commitment to the peace process and represents a new betrayal of the people of South Sudan, who have suffered from unfathomable atrocities since December 2013,” he said.
He also said he was “gravely concerned” by the resurgence of violence in Wau and Bentiu, which he warned could lead to a dramatic deterioration of the security situation across the country.
He also called on the parties to respect international humanitarian law and also allow unfettered access to those in need by United Nations and humanitarian partners.
Ki Moon strongly condemned attacks on United Nations and humanitarian operations, the latest of which was on a senior UN agency official in the capital this week.
“I urge President Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar to put an immediate end to the ongoing fighting, discipline the military leaders responsible for the violence and finally work together as partners to implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.”
He reminded that the United Nations remains committed to working with all South Sudanese, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the African Union and international and regional partners, to support the return of the country to peace and stability.
Leaders call for calm
President Salva Kiir, backed by his First Vice President, Riek Machar and the Second Vice President Wani Igga, have called for calm in Juba.
The three leaders said they did not know the cause of the gunfire, but stood firm assuring the citizens of their commitment to investigate the two shooting incidents.