New York

18 February 2016

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

The Secretary-General condemns the violence that broke out overnight and continued today, 18 February, in the UNMISS Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, in South Sudan, claiming the lives of at least seven internally displaced persons and injuring approximately 40 others so far.

The Secretary-General notes with concern the rising inter-communal tensions between the Dinka and Shilluk which precipitated this incident. He warns all parties against stoking ethnic disputes and calls on them to refrain from any actions or statements that could further escalate the situation.

The Secretary-General also reminds all concerned, including Government security forces, of the inviolability of the United Nations compounds. He underscores in no uncertain terms that any attack directed against civilians, UN premises and peacekeepers may constitute a war crime.

The Secretary-General urges the leaders of South Sudan to implement without delay the peace agreement reached six months ago, so that the people of South Sudan can begin a process of reconciliation and healing.