UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed a decision by South Sudan’s government to accept the deployment of a regional protection force to help quell the ongoing violence in the country.
The agreement was reached at a summit meeting of the leaders of the eight-nation bloc of East African Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Ethiopia on Friday night.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson on Sunday, Ban called on all South Sudanese parties to uphold their responsibility to protect civilians and to demonstrate their commitment to a peace agreement.
The decision by IGAD, which has been working along with the wider African Union (AU) to address the crisis, came after deadly clashes erupted between rival forces.
Troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those following former vice president Riek Machar clashed in and around the capital Juba last month, leaving more than 300 people dead.