21 March 2017 – The security situation in South Sudan is “very worrisome,” the head of United Nations peacekeeping operations today said, warning that the number of people fleeing the country showing no signs of slowing, and calling for a political solution to the hostilities.

“You cannot hope that a solution will come by the use of weapons, the solution has to be political,” said outgoing Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous in a press conference in Juba, alongside Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who will take up the position in April.

Mr. Ladsous underscored the importance of the 2015 peace agreement signed by President Salva Kiir and opposition groups, but noted that there are concerns about implementing an agreement which will shortly be two-years old.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Ladsous said he spoke with President Kiir in what he described as a “good” meeting. Among the topics discussed were the challenges to humanitarian action, including impediments to getting clearances, as well as instances of aid workers killed or injured while on the job.

Meanwhile, the needs in the country are greater than ever with two counties in Unity state – Mayendit and Leer – formally declared famines.

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