Security Council to consider "enhancing" South Sudan mission after intense fighting

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Wide view of the Security Council on 29 June 2016. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

The UN Security Council said it would "consider enhancing" the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) after holding an emergency meeting on Sunday in response to intense fighting in the capital, Juba.

It also encouraged "states in the region" to prepare to send more troops to potentially bolster the UN presence in the country.

Members of the UN body in charge of peace and security met at UN Headquarters in New York to consider how to respond to several days of clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and opposition forces loyal to his deputy Riek Machar.

Matthew Wells reports.

In a strongly-worded Press Statement, the Council "condemned in the strongest possible terms" the escalation in fighting across the capital which began last Thursday and continued over the weekend.

The Council "expressed particular shock and outrage at the attacks on UN compounds and protection of civilian sites."

There was strong condemnation too for "attacks and provocations" against civilians and UN staff and personnel working in and around Juba.

Members expressed support for UNMISS and what the statement described as their "readiness" to consider bolstering its ability to "prevent and respond to violence in South Sudan."

Their message was clear to all troop-contributing countries in the region, to prepare to send more peacekeepers "in the event the Council so decides."

For the two leaders whose rival forces have already put the 5-year-old country through a catastrophic civil war, that's killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 2.2 million, the Council "demanded" that they "do their utmost" to control their troops.

A genuine commitment is now needed, said the statement, to a full implementation of last year's peace agreement, including a permanent ceasefire.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'01"

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