New York

20 February 2014

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

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 lifesaving work and ensure unhindered freedom of movement of the UN 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.