February 6, 2014

Political Solution Will End S. Sudan Crisis – UN

A third of South Sudan's population is now in "urgent need" of food, the UN says
A third of South Sudan’s population is now in “urgent need” of food, the UN says

UN under-secretary general for peacekeeping has called for a political solution to the conflict in South Sudan.

“There can be no other solution to the crisis in South Sudan than a political solution,” Hervé Ladsous said following a two-day visit to the crisis-hit country.

During his visit, the UN official also met with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and other senior government officials to discuss different challenges brought on by the crisis and the implementation of a recently-signed ceasefire accord.

The UN peacekeeping chief also reiterated the importance of sticking to the conditions of the truce agreement, presented by mediators from the regional bloc of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) last month.

“Priority must go towards the implementation of the agreement signed on the 23rd of January for cessation of hostilities and in that sense I conveyed to the president the total support of the UN for the IGAD mediation process and specifically for the observation of the session of the hostilities,” Ladsous told the press.

The UN has requested USD 1.27 billion to assist approximately 3.2 million people suffering humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

Toby Lanzer, the top UN aid official in South Sudan, said the humanitarian assistance is destined to reach displaced people and host communities, refugees, and other communities whose lives and livelihoods are at immediate risk.

South Sudan has been witnessing deadly clashes since December 15, 2013, when the president accused his sacked deputy, Riek Machar, of attempting to stage a coup.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war between the army and defectors, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

Aid groups say up to 10,000 people have lost their lives in the fighting, with another half a million forced to leave their homes due to the turmoil.

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