UN: South Sudan Crisis Getting Worse

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The UN has said the crisis in South Sudan is getting worse with leaders in the country “dragging their feet” in implementing a peace deal.

The UN’s peacekeeping chief, Herve Ladsous, told reporters on Wednesday that the security council can’t keep up with the number of deaths and people being driven from their homes.

 

‘We’ve lost count’

Ladsous pointed to the number of people who are estimated to have been killed in the country’s civil war, which moved into its third year in December. “Tens of thousand of people have died,” he told reporters. “We’ve lost count.”

Two million people are also estimated to have fled their homes in a bid to escape the violence. A peace deal was agreed in August last year but failed to end the conflict between President Salva Kiir’s government forces and the country’s main armed rebel group, SPLM-IO.

The two rivals appeared to have taken a significant step towards ending the nation’s civil war after President Kiir announced SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar would return to his former post as the country’s vice-president.

However, a recent attack on a UN camp for internally displaced civilians in Malakal brought everything back into question. At least 18 civilians were killed in the attack and the SPLM-IO was quick to implicate the government in what happened.

 

Key players ‘dragging their feet’ on peace

President Kiir and Riek Machar have both been criticised by the international community for prolonging the war in South Sudan. It has taken years for the bitter rivals to reach this stage and still no transitional government has been established or any peace deal successfully implemented,

“We still don’t have a government of transition and the economic and humanitarian situation is catastrophic and continues to deteriorate,” Ladsous said.The transitional government is part of the peace deal signed in August last year, but Ladsous says “the parties are dragging their feet on its implementation”.

The transitional government is part of the peace deal signed in August last year, but Ladsous says “the parties are dragging their feet on its implementation”. South Sudan has been warned that a failure to implement the nation’s peace deal will result in further sanctions against the country, while the UK proposed imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan earlier in the year.

 

Featured image:

By USAID Africa BureauA young girl hangs the South Sudan flag, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21460264