UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – According to the UN Security Council, the parties to the South Sudan conflict have shown no signs of readiness to cease fighting and initiate a peace process.
"The members of the Security Council noted July 9, 2015 as the beginning of the fourth year of independence for the world’s youngest nation, the Republic of South Sudan. They expressed their profound disappointment with the actions of President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar Teny and other leaders who have put their personal ambitions ahead of the good of their country and their people and jeopardized the foundation of this fledgling state," the Council said in a Thursday statement.
"The members of the Security Council renewed their grave alarm at the nineteen months of violence in South Sudan and the resulting man-made political, security, humanitarian and economic catastrophe," the statement said.
The United Nations has raised concerns over multiple human rights abuses in the country, such as mass-rape, the burning of women and children in their homes and castration, which were reported by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in April and May 2015.
On Wednesday, the UN Security Council approved travel bans and asset freezes against six South Sudanese generals, including three commanders loyal to Machar, over their role in expanding the conflict in the country, as well as involvement in attacks on civilians, particularly women and children.
Violence in South Sudan started in December 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused his ex-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. That sparked ethnic attacks, with clashes between government forces and rebel groups having been ongoing despite a number of ceasefire agreements.
South Sudan became an independent state on July 9 2011, following a referendum in which over 98 percent of the voters said they were in favor of independence.