The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has strongly condemned attacks against civilians, ethnically targeted killings, hate speech, and incitements to violence in South Sudan.
Consequently, the UNSC also called for urgent steps to address increasing hate speech and ethnic violence, and to promote reconciliation among the people, including through a process of justice and accountability.
According to a statement, the 15-member Council expressed ‘deep alarm over the escalation of ethnic violence in South Sudan reportedly carried out by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the SPLA in Opposition, as well as militias, and unidentified armed groups.’
They underscored that the only way forward in the country is through a genuine and inclusive political process, based on the framework provided by the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ACRISS) which allows for all voices to participate in shaping the future of the country.
Stressing that that all parties must commit themselves to peace and take meaningful steps to end violence and ceasefire violations, Council members called on the parties to immediately agree on implementation of an effective cessation of hostilities in order to avoid escalation of the conflict in the upcoming dry season and reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict.
The statement further noted that the Council members agreed with Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng in that what began as a political conflict has transformed into what could become an outright ethnic war.
Mr. Dieng, along with Ellen Loj, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, had briefed the Council on the situation in South Sudan.
Further in their statement, the Council members signaled their readiness to consider taking additional measures in order to prevent a further escalation of violence and conflict, including potential sanctions that may be appropriate to respond to the situation.
They also committed to work with the African Union High Representative for South Sudan, former President Alpha Oumar Konaré, the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission former President Festus Mogae, as well as other stakeholders, in the reinvigoration of the political process and the design of a clear political strategy for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the country.