Stop violating truce, S. Sudan rivals told
JUBA: The heads of the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) are warning South Sudan’s warring sides to immediately stop violating a cease-ire or face “consequences.”
The joint statement by Antonio Guterres and Moussa Faki Mahamat comes after South Sudan’s government and armed opposition traded multiple accusations of attacks since the ceaseire came into effect on Dec.24.
The new statement, noting “appalling suffering,” also calls on all sides to protect civilians and allow humanitarian access to a nation where millions are going hungry.
South Sudan’s armed opposition says four government soldiers were killed in new clashes just outside the capital, Juba, last week.
The international community has shown growing signs of impatience with both sides as civil war in the world’s youngest nation enters its ifth year with untold tens of thousands killed.
Further peace talks mediated by a regional bloc are expected in early February in neighboring Ethiopia.
South Sudan’s government accuses former military chief of staff Paul Malong of ordering opposition ighters to attack government positions across the country.
Government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny on Monday pointed to audio tapes leaked on social media, alleging that Malong was heard giving orders for ighting that included clashes outside the capital, Juba, last week that violated a cease-ire.
The tapes could not be independently veriied. Malong’s wife, Lucy Ayak Malek, denies it was her husband speaking.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday that three people in South Sudan have died of a suspected viral haemorrhagic fever and 60 of their contacts are being monitored for any infection.