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The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has called on the South Sudanese warring parties and peace partners to demilitarize the national capital, Juba, as one of the measures in ensuring protection of their leadership and to avoid return to violence in the capital.

In a meeting in Kigale, Rwanda, on Friday, with South Sudanese government officials, Ban Ki Moon, also called on the leadership of the new country not to further escalate fighting across the country.

In a statement released by his office on Friday, Ki Moon, also called on the government to stop targeting United Nations personnel and premises or their properties.

He also threatened further sanctions targeting individuals seen to be obstructing implementation of the August 2015 peace agreement signed by President Salva Kiir and opposition leader, Riek Machar.

The UN chief said the new sanctions would include arms embargo to be imposed on South Sudan, adding that he had already recommended this action to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

He made the comments while meeting President Kiir’s Special Envoy, Nhial Deng Nhial, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deng Alor Kuol, where he urged the leaders to promote dialogue rather than violence.

“The Secretary-General voiced his deep concern and disappointment over the recent fighting in Juba and in other locations, further aggravating an already dire humanitarian situation and compromising the implementation of the agreement for the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan. He expressed outrage at the untold suffering inflicted upon the people of South Sudan,” said the statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

“The Secretary-General urged President Salva Kiir and 1st Vice-President Riek Machar to show true leadership and to live up to the aspirations of their people to peace and security,” it said.

He underlined the need for the parties to uphold the cessation of hostilities and to resume dialogue as the only way to sustainably address the crisis in their country.

“The Secretary-General called on the South Sudanese stakeholders to agree on practical steps to demilitarize Juba,” the statement said.

He strongly condemned the impediments to the freedom of movement and attacks against United Nations staff, assets and premises. He called on South Sudan to provide full security and access to the United Nations and to its Peacekeeping Mission.

He also emphasized the gravity of the situation and expressed the hope that the leaders would bear greater responsibility for their people.

“He asked the Special Envoy to relay his messages to the South Sudanese President.”

(ST)

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