South Sudan security situation remains "volatile"

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Human Rights Council. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

The security situation in South Sudan remains "very volatile" and is characterised by human rights violations and abuse, a senior UN official has said.

Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, spoke during an interactive dialogue of the Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

Ethnically targeted clashes were triggered in December 2013 when political tensions flared between the two top leaders of Africa's newest country.

Janie Cangelosi has more.

Despite the signing of a peace agreement in August 2015, the deputy UN human rights chief Kate Gilmore noted that "killings, sexual violence, displacement, destruction and looting continued unabated throughout the year".

State actors bore the greatest responsibilities for violations committed during that period, she added citing a recent UN report on the abuses.

The formation of a transitional government of national unity in April this year offered a "glimmer of hope" Ms Gilmore said.

And yet, she added, violence has continued while civilians are caught in the middle of fighting between government forces and armed groups.

"The current conflict has its roots in the absence of accountability for past violations. Without accountability now, a sustainable peace for South Sudan will remain elusive in the future for grave consequences for its people."

The country has plunged deep into a humanitarian crisis with 1.6 million people displaced and some 600,000 exiled to neighbouring countries.

About 160,000 of the internally displaced are living in UN compounds with bleak prospects of return.

Meanwhile, most parts of the country face severe food insecurity and possible famine, she said.

Janie Cangelosi, United Nations.

Duration: 1’14″

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