15:06 GMT +316 February 2019
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    Rebel soldiers guard the village of Majieng, about 6km from the town of Bentiu, in South Sudan

    UN Security Council Urges South Sudan Leaders to Stop Fighting in Juba

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    The UN Security Council (UNSC) demanded that President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar stop the escalating violence in the South Sudanese capital of Juba, a statement by the UNSC said.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – The statement comes after an emergency UNSC meeting, held after renewed fighting broke out last week between the soldiers of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), loyal to Kiir, and the SPLA in Opposition, which is supporting Machar. At least 150 soldiers were reportedly killed.

    “The members of the Security Council urged an immediate end to the fighting by all concerned and demanded that President Kiir and First Vice President Machar do their utmost to control their respective forces, urgently end the fighting and prevent the spread of violence, and genuinely commit themselves to the full and immediate implementation of the peace agreement, including the permanent ceasefire and redeployment of military forces from Juba,” the statement said.

    The members of the UNSC strongly condemned the violence in Juba, especially the attacks on the UN facilities. According to the statement, attacks against civilians and UN premises and personnel in South Sudan may constitute war crimes.

    The statement also called on the countries in the region, the African Union Peace and Security Council and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, to “continue firmly engaging with South Sudanese leaders to address the crisis.”

    UN May Send More Troops Amid Violence

    The UN Security Council (UNSC) is ready to consider enhancing its peacekeeping mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) following violence in capital Juba, in which dozens, including the mission’s staff, were affected, a statement by the UNSC also said.

    The statement comes after an emergency UNSC meeting, held after renewed fighting broke out last week between the soldiers of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), loyal to President Salva Kiir, and the SPLA in Opposition, which is supporting First Vice President Riek Machar.

    “The members of the Security Council expressed their readiness to consider enhancing UNMISS to better ensure that UNMISS and the international community can prevent and respond to violence in South Sudan. The members of the Security Council encouraged states in the region to prepare to provide additional troops in the event the Council so decides.”

    The UNSC also expressed condolences to the families of the UNMISS staff who were killed in the fighting that erupted last week. The Security Council also stressed the need for UNMISS “to make full use of its authority to use all necessary means” in order to protect civilians.

    The South Sudan armed ethnic conflict erupted in December 2013, a year-and-a-half after the nation gained independence from Sudan, when President Kiir blamed First Vice President Machar of preparing a military coup. The conflict forced more than a million people to flee their homes.

    In August 2015, Kiir and Machar signed a peace deal for the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity.


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    violence, UN Security Council, UN, Salva Kiir, Juba, South Sudan