On the occasion of the third anniversary of South Sudan's independence, the Secretary-General recalls the hopes and expectations of the people of South Sudan when their country was established on 9 July 2011. Those hopes were dashed by the conflict that broke out in December 2013. Thousands of South Sudanese have been killed, and atrocities have been committed against civilians.
The South Sudanese people are bearing the brunt of the failure to stop the fighting. They are living in squalor, their livelihoods have been lost and they are plagued by hunger, disease and insecurity. Over 1.3 million people have been driven from their homes and, unless the resources are forthcoming and the parties cooperate, hundreds of thousands face the possibility of famine in the coming months.
The Secretary-General reminds the leaders of South Sudan that this is a man-made crisis. It is their responsibility and within their power to stop it. He calls on them to live up to the expectations of their people, lay down their arms and return immediately to the negotiation table.
The Secretary-General reassures the people of South Sudan that the United Nations stands with them and will continue to make every effort to provide them the protection and humanitarian assistance that is their basic right.