New York. The United Nations Security Council and the UN secretary-general both expressed unqualified support on Monday for the East African mediation effort in South Sudan led by Kenya and Ethiopia.
Following a meeting on what the council president termed “a very, very dire situation,” Security Council member-states said they welcomed “the continued and essential engagement of Igad [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] to push for immediate dialogue among South Sudan’s leaders”.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier on Monday expressed “the full support of the United Nations for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development mediation process”.
Those comments were made amidst concerns that rebel forces in South Sudan may not accept Igad member Uganda as an impartial mediator.
Igad set yesterday as a deadline for face-to-face talks between President Salva Kiir and sacked vice president Riek Machar.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni warned on Monday that Igad would intervene against the rebel faction led by Machar unless he meets the Igad deadline.
“If he doesn’t, we shall have to go for him, all of us,” President Museveni said, referring to Igad’s eight member nations.
Ugandan troops are guarding the airport in Juba and are reportedly also deployed on the only bridge across the Nile in the capital.Security Council President Gerard Araud defended Uganda’s role, saying on Monday that the government of South Sudan “has the right to ask for another country to support its military effort