UN chief slams "failed leadership" in South Sudan

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Stakeout on South Sudan. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The leaders of South Sudan have failed their people, an "outraged" UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a briefing to the press on Monday.

Fighting broke out in Africa's newest nation last Thursday between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar.

Speaking at UN Headquarters in New York, Ban Ki-moon said he was "appalled" at the indiscriminate attacks against civilians.

Jocelyne Sambira has the story.

The UN chief called the renewed fighting "another grievous set back" adding that it made a "mockery of commitment to peace"

Many people have been killed in heavy fighting and there are growing fears that many more may die in another round of fighting, Ban Ki-moon said.

Expressing his condolences to the bereaved families, he also condemned the killing of two Chinese peacekeepers and one UN national staff.

Two UN compounds in Juba have been caught in the cross-fire, killing two displaced persons and wounding some 35 people.

Here's the UN Chief:

"Yet again, the leaders of South Sudan have failed their people. Rarely has a country squandered so much promise so quickly. What kind of leadership is it that resorts to deadly weapons and identity politics? Time and again, failed leadership."

Mr Ban urged the Security Council to impose an immediate arms embargo on South Sudan, enact targeted sanctions on leaders blocking the implementation of the peace agreement and to fortify the UN mission there.

He also urged all troop contributing countries to stand their ground. Any withdrawal, Ban added, would send the "wrong signal" to South Sudan and to the rest of the world.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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