20 February 2014

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

Deeply Concerned by Renewed Fighting in South Sudan, Secretary-General Warns

That Those Responsible for Crimes against Civilians Will be Held Accountable

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

The Secretary-General notes with deep concern the reports of renewed heavy fighting in Malakal, Upper Nile State, since 18 February and the catastrophic consequences for civilian populations.  He urges all parties to the conflict to respect international human rights and humanitarian law and ensure that civilians are protected.  He emphasizes that those responsible for crimes committed against civilians in South Sudan will be held accountable.

The Secretary-General reiterates the necessity for the parties to implement fully the Agreements on Cessation of Hostilities and on the Status of Detainees signed on 23 January, and to cooperate fully with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Monitoring and Verification Mechanism, which the United Nations stands ready to support.

The Secretary-General also calls on all parties to respect the life-saving work and ensure unhindered freedom of movement of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and humanitarian workers.  He calls on them to engage in serious political negotiations as the only means for bringing peace to South Sudan.

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For information media • not an official record