There is no alternative to "silencing the guns" in South Sudan: UN

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SRSG Ellen Margrethe Lǿj making remarks at a Nepalese Battalion Medal Parade in South Sudan.
 September 5, 2014. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

A comprehensive peace agreement is urgently needed to restore peace and security in South Sudan.

That's what Ellen Margrethe Lǿj, the head of the UN Mission in the country (UNMISS) told the Security Council on Wednesday.

The Special Envoy said she has conveyed her message to South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar.

Thousands of people have died since fighting broke out mid-December between soldiers loyal to the two leaders over an internal power struggle.

"There is no alternative to silencing the guns and concluding without further delay a comprehensive peace agreement in order to return the country towards the path of peace and stability. This is the message I have consistently conveyed to all my South Sudan interlocuters, including President Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar. I have told them that the guns must be silenced; peace cannot be delayed even for one more day."  (32″)

Peace talks between the warring parties led by an African regional economic bloc, IGAD, have stalled since June.

The UN estimates that 1.8 million people have been displaced and another 453,000 have fled to neighbouring countries.

A third of the population is facing serious food insecurity.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’22″

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