The Security Council has strongly condemned continued fighting across South Sudan, particularly incidents in the country's Equatoria and Upper Nile regions, and called on all parties to cease hostilities immediately.
In a Press Statement issued overnight, the Council also condemned “in the strongest terms” all attacks directed against civilians and expressed serious concern, once again, about reports of killing of civilians, sexual and gender-based violence, destruction of homes, ethnic violence, and looting of livestock and property.
The Council urged the Transitional Government of National Unity to take measures to ensure that those responsible for the attacks are held accountable, and expressed deep alarm that more than 84,000 individuals have fled South Sudan since the beginning of January and that many continue to be displaced internally.
The Council stressed that there is no military solution to the conflict, and in this regard, welcomed the continued and collective commitment in the search for lasting peace, security and stability expressed by the African Union (AU), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the UN during the joint consultative meeting on South Sudan that was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on January 29, 2017.
The Council expressed deep concern that the Transitional Government of National Unity is hindering the ability of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to carry out its mandate to protect civilians and create conditions conducive to delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The Council reminded the transitional government of its commitment in the September 4, 2016, Joint Communique to permit freedom of movement of UNMISS.
The Council reiterated that targeting civilians may constitute war crimes and those involved could be subject to sanctions under resolution 2206 (2015).