The head of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has called for an end to fighting in the country, and for peace talks to be given a chance.
At least 1,000 people have died since fighting erupted last month between supporters of President Salva Kiir and those of his sacked deputy Riek Machar.
Both sides have sent delegations to talks in Ethiopia but so far the rebels have not agreed to end hostilities.
Meanwhile, Mr Kiir has declared a state of emergency in two parts of the country affected by fighting and where rebels have taken control of large areas.
Heavy fighting is reportedly taking place in the key town of Bor.
The decree would allow officials in Jonglei and Unity states who had joined the rebels to be sacked without the need for a vote in the state parliament, the president’s spokesman said.
Among officials thought to have joined the rebels was the deputy governor of Jonglei.