WASHINGTON: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to express grave concern about the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, including recent violence in Bentiu and Bor and the deliberate targeting of civilians by armed groups on both sides of the conflict.
Kerry welcomed the Government of South Sudan’s decision to release the four senior political officials who had been in detention since December.
He urged President Kiir to stop military offensives and to adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement, and noted U.S. demands that anti-government forces do the same.
Both Kerry and Kiir expressed their support for the IGAD-led peace process.
Kerry noted the important role played by the U.N. Mission in South Sudan, denounced recent attacks on UNMISS bases and personnel, and encouraged Kiir to ensure full and unfettered access throughout South Sudan for UNMISS, the African Union Commission of Inquiry and the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism