"Deep concern" voiced by Security Council over South Sudan conflict

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"Deep concern" has been expressed by the UN Security Council over the failure to implement a peace agreement signed last August by the warring parties in South Sudan.

Civil war has engulfed the world's youngest nation for more than two years, stemming from fighting between factions loyal to the country's President and his former deputy.

The Council adopted a Presidential Statement, which also called for the South Sudanese government to fully investigate reports of uniformed combatants firing on civilians inside UN compounds.

Matthew Wells reports.

The failure of South Sudan's government and opposition forces to make any progress towards peace has led to a worsening humanitarian crisis across the country this year, the President of the Security Council, Ismael Abraão Gaspar Martins, said on Thursday.

Speaking on behalf of the Council, the Angolan Ambassador said that the warring parties had to move towards a permanent ceasefire, and deliver on their promises:

"The Security Council expresses deep alarm at the numerous reports of sexual violence in armed conflict. The Security Council also underscores its grave concern at the deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation in South Sudan, with an estimated 2.8 million people who are severely food insecure, and that humanitarian access continues to be restricted."

The Council president also called on the South Sudanese government to hold an investigation into the "credible reports" that armed men in uniform entered a UN protection site in Malakal last month, and fired on civilians.

The Council calls on the authorities in the capital to take immediate steps towards a government of national unity, protecting all civilians and allowing freedom of movement.

A deadline of the end of this month was given for the Council to review progress made in South Sudan.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’13″

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