Leaders can bring South Sudan from "impending abyss:" UN official

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Some 17,000 people who fled to a UN protection of Civilians site in Wau, South Sudan following recent violence, have access to water, and are putting up basic structures to shield from the hot sun. UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis

Although a National Dialogue in South Sudan has yielded some progress, achieving inclusivity and a free and secure environment remain challenges, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Thursday.

Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, El Ghassim Wane provided ambassadors with an update on the situation in the country, the world's youngest nation.

Rival parties have been fighting for more than three years, despite the signing of a peace agreement in August 2015.

Dianne Penn report.

Mr Wane reiterated that the conflict in South Sudan is a man-made one for which its leaders bear a direct responsibility.

He said the ongoing fighting combined with a dire economic situation has created "a dangerous and precarious situation" for its people.

"But the same leaders can also bring the country back from the impending abyss. All that is needed is genuine political will to halt military operations, peacefully negotiate and make the compromises necessary to achieve sustainable peace in the country. I would like to urge the Security Council to pronounce itself in this regard. It is critical that the leaders and all other stakeholders in South Sudan hear the international community's unified demand of what is expected of them in the interest of their own people." 

Mr Wane also reported on the deployment of a Regional Protection Force that is currently underway. 

It was authorized by the Council in the wake of violence in the capital, Juba, last year.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’07″

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