Pretoria – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has joined the international community in expressing concern over the recent outbreak of violence in South Sudan.
Deputy President Ramaphosa, who is the Special Envoy of President Jacob Zuma to South Sudan, condemned the violence in the strongest terms possible and called for the immediate restoration of peace.
“We know too well the burden of pain and sorrow that war has brought to bear upon the majority of the people of South Sudan over the past few years.
“We call on the leadership of South Sudan to take the necessary steps to end the current conflict and to ensure the country remains on course towards the consolidation of the hard-won peace,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa on Monday.
President Salva Kiir on Monday evening declared a unilateral ceasefire after days of heavy fighting between his government troops and forces loyal to Vice President Riek Machar that has left at least 270 people dead.
On Monday, ministers of foreign affairs from the Eastern African region, who form the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council, held an extraordinary session in Nairobi, Kenya.
The meeting called on the UN to increase the number of UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) troops drawn from the region in order to secure Juba.
They urged President Kiir and Machar to assume their responsibility and take immediate measures to stop the fighting.
They also emphasized the need for the two leaders to assert command and control over their respective armed forces and passing of continuous messages to the general population for calm and reconciliation.