U.N. chief disappointed by failure of South Sudan peace talks


(Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday expressed deep disappointment after troubled talks to end more than a year of bloodshed in South Sudan broke off without a deal a day earlier.

Friday’s adjournment was the latest impasse in negotiations over the world’s youngest country, where a political row between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar triggered a conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people.

“(Ban) expresses his profound disappointment following the unsuccessful conclusion of the (East African bloc) IGAD-led peace talks and the failure of President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar to display statesmanship and reach an agreement on power-sharing,” the U.N. press office said.

The U.N. statement said Ban “recalls” the Security Council’s newly established sanctions regime, though it did not explicitly call for anyone to be sanctioned.

It added that Ban appealed for a resumption of the peace talks, noting that “he strongly urges both parties to refrain from any attempt to escalate the conflict.”

U.S. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf on Friday issued a sharp rebuke to Kiir and Machar for not reaching an agreement.


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