State Department voices concern about reported ceasefire violations in South Sudan

The U.S. Department of State voiced its concern Saturday following reports of ceasefire violations in South Sudan, and called upon the Government of South Sudan to support peace efforts. The spokesperson also warned both sides not to draw foreign forces into the conflict.
Posted By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   Feb. 10, 2014 at 8:45 PM

WASHINGTONFeb. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of State voiced its concern on Saturday following reports that both the Government of South Sudan and anti-government forces had violated a ceasefire agreement reached in Addis Ababa on January 23.

With a monitoring team in place in the South Sudanese capital city of Juba to verify implementation of the ceasefire agreement, the State Department called on the South Sudanese government to support its work, to continue to partake in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development-led peace negotiations, and to cooperate with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

We welcome the arrival in Juba of the first component of the team that will eventually monitor and verify the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement. We strongly urge the Government of South Sudan to facilitate its important work, which will provide both sides with a mechanism to report any breaches of the agreement.

We look forward to the beginning of the IGAD-led political dialogue and inclusive reconciliation process. We urge the government of South Sudan to support these efforts and to release the remaining four political detainees. The expeditious release and transfer of all of the detainees would reduce tension and build confidence in an inclusive reconciliation process.

We also call on the government of South Sudan to fully cooperate with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). It is imperative that the government ensure that any assaults on and threats against UNMISS facilities and personnel immediately cease. The Mission’s ability to carry out its mandate is critical to establish peace and meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of South Sudan.

Spokesperson Jen Psaki also warned against the use or involvement of foreign forces, cautioning that "serious consequences... could result from any regionalization of this conflict."

[State Department]

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