Security Council expresses "profound disappointment" with South Sudan leaders

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Displaced people in South Sudan.  UN File Photo/Hailemichael Gebrekrstos

Tens of thousands of people have died in South Sudan and more than two million have been displaced all because their political leaders have failed to pursue peace.

That was the message from the UN Security Council on Thursday, the fourth anniversary of the country's independence.

In a statement, Council members expressed their "profound disappointment" with the actions of President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar and other leaders who they said "have put their personal ambitions ahead of the good of their country and their people."

Dianne Penn reports

South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, has been mired in turmoil stemming from political infighting between the President and former Vice-President which began in December 2013.

The Security Council said their failure to pursue peace has caused the deaths of scores of civilians, the displacement of more than two million people, and attacks on UN peacekeepers, some of them fatal.

Council members renewed their grave alarm at the 19 months of violence in South Sudan and what they characterized as "the resulting man-made political, security, humanitarian and economic catastrophe."

They also condemned human rights violations and abuses that had occurred, including castration, mass-rape and the burning of women and children in their homes.

In light of the significant deterioration of the situation in South Sudan, the Security Council underscored the urgent need to end impunity and ensure accountability.

 Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 59″

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