World Bulletin / News Desk
South Sudan's Peace Commission and National Reconciliation Committee – both state-run agencies – urged the country's warring rivals on Thursday to call an immediate ceasefire and open serious talks aimed at ending the fighting.
In a joint statement, the two agencies stressed their full support for mediation efforts currently being carried out in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa by the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The nascent African country has been shaken by violence since mid-December, when President Salva Kiir accused sacked vice-president Riek Machar of standing behind a failed coup attempt against him.
A subsequent government crackdown landed many of Machar's supporters in jail, but he managed to flee to Jonglei State, a stronghold of his Nuer tribe.
In the fighting that has raged ever since, more than 190,000 people have reportedly been displaced.
In their joint statement, the Peace Commission and the National Reconciliation Committee underlined the importance of achieving rapprochement between South Sudan's rival camps, calling on the international community to exert more effort to help the troubled country resolve its domestic problems.
The two agencies also expressed solidarity with the victims of recent clashes, saying the widening scope of violence in South Sudan could lead the country into a protracted war.
The statement also lauded the United Nations for providing food, refuge and protection to displaced persons fleeing the violence in their native areas.
On Tuesday, the UN humanitarian office in Sudan warned that some 350,000 people could flee the fighting in South Sudan into its northern neighbor.
In a statement, the UN office said it had prepared a plan to receive around 350,000 refugees fleeing the conflict.Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2014, 17:54