Conditions must be established for "future of hope" in South Sudan: Guterres

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Secretary-General António Guterres addresses reporters at UN Headquarters. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Conditions must be put in place to provide South Sudan with a "future of hope", said the UN Secretary General António Guterres on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters at UN Headquarters, he said that progress had been made towards ending years of violence and division across the world's newest nation, during the recent African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

Matthew Wells reports.

The UN chief began his wide-ranging press conference by addressing the crisis in South Sudan, which has left tens of thousands dead, since forces loyal to the president and his former deputy, began fighting in late 2013.

Mr Guterres said that moves to fully implement the UN-brokered peace agreement of 2015 relied on both national dialogue, and a major international effort involving the UN, the African Union, and the regional trade bloc known as IGAD.

"I hope that the conditions are now created for these three organizations, all the neighbours, to work together with the same objective, to speak with the same voice and to try to create the conditions to avoid what could be a dramatic evolution of the situation on the ground, with massacres that anybody can foresee possible, and to put on track a peace process aiming at giving a future of hope for the South Sudanese."

He said that during the AU summit, he'd been given assurances by President Salva Kiir that the government would cooperate with a 4,000-strong Regional Protection Force that's due to help cement peace around the capital Juba.

He said neighbouring Kenya would also be playing a full part in establishing what he called an "enhanced platform of cooperation" to end ethnic and political conflict in South Sudan, as well as ease the humanitarian crisis.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’14″

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