UNITED NATIONS, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - After at least five humanitarian workers were killed in South Sudan’s Maban County, Upper Nile State, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon demanded Wednesday that “the relevant authorities conduct a full investigation into these tragic events.”
On the political situation, Ban reiterated that “there is no military solution to the crisis in South Sudan and calls upon the parties to immediately cease their military operations and demonstrate the political will to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.”
Ban welcomed “the resumption on August 4 of the talks in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.”
He also called on “all armed forces and groups in South Sudan to do their utmost to keep relief personnel and civilians safe from harm.”
The Sudan People's Liberation Army is the official national army, controlled from the capital Juba by President Salva Kiir. Former Vice President Riek Machar was fired and began a rebellion which remains ongoing.
Earlier on Wednesday, UN Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet told the Security Council that on August 2 in Maban County in Upper Nile State “clashes erupted between a local militia that calls itself the Maban Defense Force and appropriately SPLA soldiers of Nuer ethnicity who deserted from the SPLA.”
Mulet said in Maban that “the militia suffered heavy casualties during the fight” and in reaction “began pursuing Nuers.”
“Five humanitarian worker of Nuer ethnicity have so far been killed by the militia and one is missing,” Mulet said.
“A UN Quick Reaction Force with four armored personnel carriers is about to reach the area and another platoon size force is being deployed by air. The extraction of non-essential UN and humanitarian personnel via airlift has begun,” Mulet told the Security Council.
Rwanda has provided an additional helicopter to the UN Mission in South Sudan, with more expected to arrive in September.