JUBA: UN Security Council ambassadors met the leaders of South Sudan’s warring sides on Tuesday in a bid to end eight months of conflict that has pushed the young nation to the brink of famine.
Brandishing the threat of sanctions, the diplomats arrived in the capital on a two-day visit to “engage with leaders” and witness “the humanitarian crisis first hand,” British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said.
Thousands of people have been killed and over 1.5 million have fled almost eight months of carnage, sparked by a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar, with battles between government troops, mutinous soldiers and ragtag militia forces divided by tribe.
The ambassadors are due to meet with Kiir before flying to the northern town of Malakal, one of the hardest hit areas in the fighting.
The town was left in ruins, swapping hands several times between government and rebels.