New York

19 January 2014

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General on South Sudan

The Secretary-General is alarmed at the attempt today by senior members of the Government of South Sudan and South Sudan army to force entry into the protection of civilians site at the compound of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Bor.

Thousands of civilians have been killed, brutally abused and left homeless in just over a month of conflict in South Sudan. The Secretary-General calls on the parties and their respective leaders to do far more to ensure that fighters under their command protect civilians and respect International Humanitarian Law.  They should also immediately cease hostilities, which have had such a devastating impact on their young country. 

The Secretary-General is particularly disturbed that United Nations staff were threatened by South Sudan military when they refused to allow armed soldiers to accompany civilians to visit the UNMISS protection site today.

The Secretary-General condemns the threats made against UN personnel and demands that all parties to the conflict respect the sanctity of UNMISS protection sites.

This incident is just one of a growing number of violations of the Status of Forces Agreement, making it increasingly difficult for UNMISS to implement its mandate and dangerous for United Nations staff working in South Sudan.