10 May

UN boss recommends more sanctions against South Sudan

South Sudan risks being slapped with fresh sanctions by the United Nations Security Council following a report by a top UN official, saying leaders in the country are still ‘bent on armed confrontation’.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the UN Under Secretary – General for peacekeeping operations told the security council that despite work done by the regional trading bloc, IGAD to facilitate an agreement on a permanent ceasefire, the ‘parties remain far apart on the issues’.

He also highlighted the scale of sexual violence and increasing cases of aggression against humanitarian agencies and their staff. “We must respond and respond quickly to ensure accountability for these violations and abuses and bring an end to these heinous acts once and for all,” stressed the senior UN official.

The Security Council was Tuesday discussing possible renewal of the mandate of the Sanctions Committee Panel of Experts on South Sudan to exert pressure on the warring factions to strike a peace deal.

In a brief statement posted on its official website, the council says a decision on imposing more sanctions would be reached after examining a new report on the situation.

The world’s youngest country, South Sudan, has spent much of the past seven years mired in conflict, riven by a political face-off between President Salva Kiir and his then former Vice-President Riek Machar that erupted into full-blown war late in 2013.

Kiir recently called on his exiled former deputy to return to the country, saying the government has now chosen the path of forgiveness.

The gesture is a rare ray of hope in a country where agreements and ceasefires have been severally violated by both the government and the rebel groups.

IGAD has also postponed talks to secure the implementation of the peace process, without giving any explanations or setting a new date for the process.

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