United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, on Tuesday (February 3)

United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, on Tuesday (February 3) urged South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his former Vice-President, Riek Machar to put the interests of their people ahead of their own in order for peace to flourish in the war-torn country.

In a statement issued in New York, the Secretary-General noted the outcome of last weekend’s meetings at which the two sides once again agreed a cease-fire and agreed to continue a dialogue but did not reach agreement on the structure of government, power-sharing or security issues. They will return to Addis Ababa on February 19 to discuss further issues. In his statement, the Secretary-General said he regretted neither of the principals had been prepared “to compromise on a mutually acceptable power-sharing formula.”

He also called once again on both parties to “urgently and strictly” adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed on 23 January 2014, and underscored “the urgent need for both the President and former Vice President to agree on a comprehensive and inclusive peace agreement”. This, he said, should also address key institutional reforms, including economic governance, reconciliation, and accountability for the crimes committed since the beginning of the conflict in a manner consistent with international standards. The Secretary-General also commended the efforts of the IGAD Mediators and of the IGAD Heads of State and Government “for their tireless efforts and commitments” to broker a peace agreement. He said the UN stands by ready to assist in efforts to engage all involved parties.