UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls for power-sharing agreement in South Sudan

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NEW YORK, December 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Today marks one year since conflict broke out in the world's youngest nation, South Sudan. I am dismayed and saddened that the parties have yet to reach a comprehensive peace agreement. The leaders of South Sudan have allowed their personal ambitions to jeopardize the future of an entire nation. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have died, 1.9 million people have been displaced by the conflict, and millions more have become vulne! rable to food insecurity. This is tragic and unacceptable. The killing must stop now. The very premise of the country's independence struggle - a new beginning that was supposed to be founded on tolerance, good governance, accountability and unity - is disappearing before our eyes.

I once again call on the leadership of both sides to agree to an inclusive, power-sharing arrangement to begin a transitional phase of governance that will address both the root causes of the conflict and ensure accountability for the crimes committed over the past year. They must end the culture of impunity if reconciliation and a sustainable peace are to be achieved.

I call on the international community to put its collective weight behind the peace process led by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and I commend the African Union Peace and Security Council for creating a Heads of State ad-hoc committee for this purpose. The United Nations will remain fully engaged in support of the peace process, the protection of civilians and the provision of humanitarian assistance.