The Secretary-General welcomes the start yesterday of the South Sudan political talks in Addis Ababa between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in opposition, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The Secretary-General reiterates the importance of national political dialogue, with the participation of all South Sudanese political and civil society representatives, including all senior SPLM detainees.
The Secretary-General notes with deep concern the reports of ongoing fighting and skirmishes in parts of Unity and Upper Nile States. He 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 IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism, which the United Nations stands ready to support. The Secretary-General also calls on all parties to respect the lifesaving work and ensure unhindered freedom of movement of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and of all humanitarian workers.
The Secretary-General condemns the use in the South Sudan conflict of cluster bombs, remnants of which were found last week by the United Nations Mine Action Service, on the Juba-Bor road, Jonglei State.