Members of the White Army, a South Sudanese anti-government militia, attend a rally in Nasir on April 14, 2014. Conflict in South Sudan has triggered a serious risk of famine that will kill up to 50,000 children within months if immediate action is not taken, the UN has warned.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development has condemned the spiraling violence in South Sudan and called on the international community to put pressure on President Salva Kiir’s government and rebels to stop the war.
In a statement Thursday, Igad Executive Secretary Ambassador Mahboub Maalim said the effects of five-month long violent conflict in South Sudan are catastrophic with thousands of lives lost and over a million people displaced.
"The conflict has also seriously disrupted economic activity and food production with imminent risk of serious famine. In this respect, the Executive Secretary calls on the international community to act now to put pressure on both parties to stop the war and prevent a deeper catastrophe from unfolding in South Sudan,” he stated.
He condemned the killing of 200 people in a Mosque in Benitu on April 15, 2014 and the April 17 attack in the UN Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) compound in Bor that left 40 people dead.
“These recent incidents are particularly alarming as they involved deliberate targeting of civilians in massacre proportions,” he said.
Mr Maalim said the violence was also undermining the ongoing peace process and violates a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the SPLM/A signed on January 23, 2014.
He urged the Sudanese government and rebels led by Riek Machar to demonstrate their commitment to the Igad-led mediation process saying it was the only viable means of resolving the conflict.