Addis Ababa

13 July 2015

Opening remarks at press encounter following joint meeting on South Sudan

Ban Ki-moon

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

I have just concluded a productive meeting on South Sudan with His Excellency Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Her Excellency Madame Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

We are in agreement. The conflict in South Sudan must stop.

Today, I repeat my call to President Kiir and former Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar to give up war – for the sake of the people and future of South Sudan.

I urge them to compromise, forge a political deal and make true on their promises to protect the people of South Sudan.

South Sudan marked the fourth anniversary of its independence last week on 9 July.

I vividly recall the high hopes invested in this new nation at its birth, which I witnessed.

I am heartbroken for the people of South Sudan whose aspirations for a peaceful and prosperous future have been shattered so unnecessarily, so tragically.

The humanitarian situation in the country is appalling.

Over 1.6 million people have been displaced and over 600,000 have fled to neighbouring countries.

Close to 4.6 million face severe food insecurity.

The United Nations demands that the parties respect international humanitarian law and enable unfettered access to those in need of assistance.

I remain deeply disturbed by the level of violence and the unspeakable atrocities committed against civilians.

I remind all parties to the conflict that those responsible for serious human rights violations will be held accountable.

South Sudan can still be saved if the two sides move beyond their partial interests, show courage and leadership.

True leadership means making compromises.

It means stopping the fighting, stopping the killing and raping, stopping the destruction of the country.

Peace in South Sudan also requires support from its neighbours.

I urge President Museveni and President Bashir to use their influence on the parties to help end this conflict.

Let me conclude by commending the efforts of the IGAD Heads of State and mediators to help the two sides reach a comprehensive peace agreement.

The United Nations offers its full support to IGAD so that collectively we show the parties a single way forward.

Thank you.