South Sudan's political crisis urgently needs to be dealt with through political dialogue: Ban

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

"I am deeply concerned about the current situation in South Sudan," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters at UN headquarters on Wednesday.

He said he has spoken to President Salva Kiir on Tuesday and impressed on him the need to resume dialogue with the political opposition.

The Secretary-General said he welcomes the reports on Wednesday that President Salva Kiir is willing to enter into such talks.

At the same time, his Special Representative, Hilde Johnson, remains in constant contact with the Government and others with influence on these issues.

“This is a political crisis, and urgently needs to be dealt with through political dialogue. There is a risk of this violence spreading to other States, and we have already seen some signs of this. It is essential to protect the human rights of all those who are detained. Mandated human rights monitors must have full access to visit the detainees. Security forces must operate in full compliance with international humanitarian law.”

Secretary-General Ban called on the Government to cooperate fully with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as it fulfils its protection mandate, including in the provision of basic relief to civilians in need and in conducting human rights investigations into allegations of human rights abuses in recent days.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’19″

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