14 January 2014

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, Alarmed at Fatalities in South Sudan, Says UN Will

Continue to Actively Protect Civilians with ‘Strict Impartiality’

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General is alarmed by the rising number of fatalities resulting from the continuing fighting in South Sudan, including reports received on 14 January about the deaths of 200 civilians who drowned in the River Nile while fleeing hostilities in Malakal, Upper Nile State.  He is also deeply concerned about the rising number of displaced people in the country, which surpassed 400,000 this week, and the challenges humanitarians are facing in providing life-saving assistance.  He strongly condemns the commandeering of humanitarian vehicles and the theft of food stocks and other relief items by both Government and anti-Government forces.

The Secretary-General calls on all parties to cease hostilities and urges them to engage constructively with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development-led negotiation process, while doing their utmost to prevent civilian casualties, uphold principles of international humanitarian law and respect human rights.  He reiterates that those responsible for attacks against civilians, humanitarian workers and United Nations personnel will be held accountable, and that the United Nations will continue to actively protect civilians applying strict impartiality.

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For information media • not an official record