Warring parties in South Sudan face "serious consequences"Listen /
The warring parties in South Sudan have been told that "serious consequences" could follow unless they end the fighting which has engulfed the country since last December.
Thousands of people have been killed and a million have fled their homes as government troops continue to battle opposition rebels who support the former vice-president Riek Machar.
On Wednesday evening, the UN Security Council was briefed by the United Nations peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous. He spoke to reporters after the closed session.
"Let us be aware that unless there are serious consequences for the parties to seize the violence and to engage in meaningful talks, peace process, then, if that doesn't happen, the toll on innocent civilians will continue to rise. And that I think is my main message. This is unacceptable." (21″)
Mr Ladsous addressed the council following the killing of a reported 400 civilians in the town of Bentiu.
The town had recently been seized by rebels.
Both France and the United States, two permanent members of the Council, have said they are considering sanctions against South Sudan.
Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.