UNSC calls for end to fighting in South Sudan

United Nations, Jan 11 (IANS) UN Security Council (UNSC) Friday renewed its call on all parties in South Sudan to commence a broader dialogue to end the violence in country.

Fighting erupted between government and opposition forces nearly a month ago.
In a press statement, the council members underlined their demand for President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar and other political leaders to “demonstrate leadership by immediately agreeing to a cessation of hostilities and commencing a broader dialogue”, Xinhua reported
They urged Machar to move forward and agree to a cessation of hostilities without precondition, and requested the government of the world’s youngest country, in particular President Kiir, to release all political leaders, detained to create an environment conducive to a successful dialogue.
The council members also demanded an immediate end to all human rights violations and abuses and stressed that those responsible will be held accountable, according to the statement.
“The members of the Security Council also strongly discouraged external intervention that could exacerbate the military and political tensions,” said the statement.
Fighting erupted in South Sudan, which only gained independence in 2011 after seceding from Sudan, Dec 15 when Kiir said soldiers loyal to Machar, dismissed last July, reportedly launched an attempted coup.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed that at least 231,000 people have fled their homes since the fighting began, with nearly 43,000 South Sudanese seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, mainly Uganda.