South Sudan: UN chief urges all sides to &#39show leadership&#39 in quest for peace

4 March 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged South Sudanese political rivals President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar to resolve their differences and move towards a lasting peace ahead of an impending mediation deadline.
In a statement issued late yesterday evening, the UN spokesperson’s office said the Secretary-General strongly urged Mr. Kiir and Mr. Machar &#8220to show leadership&#8221 and put the &#8220well-being of South Sudanese ahead of all other interests.&#8221 Moreover, he added, the two leaders should work to make &#8220the necessary compromises to conclude a power sharing agreement that paves the way for a comprehensive settlement of the conflict in South Sudan.&#8221
Mr. Ban’s appeal comes just days before a 5 March deadline set by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for the conclusion of negotiations between the two parties.
The UN spokesperson also reported that the Secretary-General took note of the unanimous Security Council resolution adopted yesterday morning establishing a sanctions regime on South Sudanese officials blocking peace efforts in the country.
The move is the UN body’s latest step towards ending a conflict that has killed thousands in the world’s newest country.
In particular, the resolution voiced deep concern at the &#8220failures&#8221 of both parties to engage in a palpable peace process which would lead to political resolve and bring an end to the violence. The text underscored the Council’s &#8220willingness to impose targeted sanctions in order to support the search for peace.&#8221
While no listings were made, the resolution sets out a series of listing criteria. The sanctions are expected to apply to those responsible for, complicit in, or engaged directly or indirectly in actions or policies threatening the peace, security or stability of South Sudan.
In the statement, which commended and supported the regional efforts facilitating the negotiation process, the UN spokesperson also said the Secretary-General reminded both parties that &#8220the best way&#8221 to avoid the enactment of actual sanctions by the Security Council, would be to &#8220strictly adhere&#8221 to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement of 23 January 2014, fully comply with International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, extend their full cooperation to UN and humanitarian personnel in the discharge of their mandates and duties, and conclude a Comprehensive Peace Agreement that places South Sudan &#8220back on the path to stability and prosperity.&#8221