Eliasson: Crisis in South Sudan needs to be resolved through dialogue

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Jan Eliasson

South Sudanese leaders and political personalities are being urged to appeal for calm and reign in their supporters.

The Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, made the call on Thursday from UN headquarters in New York, warning that the violence could spread further in the country.

The UN base in Akobo County, Jonglei state was attacked earlier and there are reports that lives have been lost, Mr. Eliasson noted. The full details are unknown.

Mr. Eliasson says the crisis is political and needs to be dealt with through a political dialogue.

“I welcome reports this morning that President Salva Kiir is willing to entering to talks and deplore the call by some from the [Riek] Machar camp to topple the government. In fact, we have reports also about a willingness to go into dialogue from that side. My point here is that it is a political crisis that needs to be dealt with a political dialogue."

He recalled that the Peacekeeping Force mandate in South Sudan includes the protection of civilians, adding that UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) takes its mandate very seriously, "particularly in this situation when civilians are clearly in danger."

Meanwhile, UNMISS reports that elsewhere in Jonglei state, small arms fire was directed at Mission premises in Bor, with one rocket-propelled grenade impacting.

However, the grenade did not explode within UNMISS premises.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’29″

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