South Sudan leaders order ceasefire in Juba

Jul 12, 2016, 1:59 AM EDT
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir
(Source: Day Donaldson/flickr)

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar ordered their supporters to cease hostilities, as humanitarian situation deteriorated in the capital, Juba, after an outbreak of violence continued to rage for the fifth day. The United States said the clashes that have killed more than 300 people since Thursday “must stop” immediately and warned of strict action against those who are impeding efforts to end the fighting.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon slammed the leaders of South Sudan for failing their countrymen, writes the BBC. He called for an immediate arms embargo on the country in addition to sanctioning political and military leaders, who are blocking the peace deal. Ban appealed to the countries with troops in South Sudan to “stand their ground” and prevent the country from sliding back into the state of civil war.

The latest violence raises serious questions about how much control do Kiir and Machar have over their troops, notes Reuters. Explosions and heavy weapons gunfire continued across Juba despite appeals for calm from the two leaders on Friday.

According to aid workers, thousands of people have fled their homes and taken refuge in U.N. premises and churches, reports The Guardian.  Shortage of food supplies and shelling of hospitals have worsened the humanitarian situation in Juba.