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Think about the suffering of your people, UN Guterres tell South Sudanese leaders

 António Guterres (Photo Reuters/ Denis Balibouse)
February 8, 2020 (ADDIS ABABA) - Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General Saturday said what is happening in the world latest nation is "unacceptable" and urged the country’s leaders to think about the suffering they cause to the South Sudanese people.

Guterres was speaking in a press conference held in Addis Ababa where is taking place the annual African Union meetings.

The Portuguese diplomat who served in 2005 as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees recalled that his first mission, after his appointment, was to refugees camps in Uganda and how he returned with them full of hope to their country after the comprehensive peace agreement.

He further said he visited Uganda again as UN Secretary-General and he was deeply affected by the suffering of the South Sudanese people, the level of poverty, the level of malnutrition of the children.

"It’s absolutely unimaginable the number of rapes of sexual violence of all kinds. It’s absolutely unimaginable," he repeated.

"So, I have one with one simple message to the leaders of the country: think about your people. Respect your people".

He stressed that political leaders have to end the war because it causes the suffering of the people.

"It is for me totally unacceptable, that we are still again, close to the deadline of a new period that was declared, that there is no agreement on a number of issues".

Guterres’s call for a national consensus comes after a similar call by the Troika countries on the need to compromise over the critical issues and to form a transitional national unity.

The signatories of the revitalized peace pact are supposed to form the national unity government on 22 February. However, still, they diverge on the number of states, an issue that they have to agree on during the pre-transitional period.

Also, the slow pace of the security arrangements implementation remains a source of worry for the government peace partners who called for the deployment of more peacekeepers across the country.

The UN chief conducted his remarks about South Sudan by renewing calls for the South Sudanese leaders to "agree to cooperate and to deserve the wonderful people they have".

Usually, the secretary-general holds a separate meeting with African leaders of the countries of concern. But it is not clear if Guterres met with President Salva Kiir.

(ST)