Strongly condemning the attack against the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on 3 May, the Security Council has called on all parties to immediately adhere to the permanent ceasefire called for in an August 2015 peace agreement.

Between 11pm and midnight on 3 May, the Mission’s temporary operating base in Leer town in the former Unity State came under small-arms attack from the direction of the nearby Government-held town. According to the Mission, peacekeepers’ quick defensive action secured the safety of all of the internally displaced people who had sought UN protection adjacent to the base.

“The members of the Security Council recalled that individuals who, directly or indirectly, engage in attacks against United Nations missions, international security presence, or other peacekeeping operations, or humanitarian personnel, may be designated for targeted sanctions,” said a statement issued overnight by the 15-member body.

Further in the statement, the Council members expressed appreciation for the actions taken by UNMISS peacekeepers to repel the 3 May attack, further condemned the continued violence committed by all parties, including the ongoing military offensives, and called for removal of all obstacles to the delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance.

Earlier this week, the UN human rights chief urged the Government of South Sudan to halt any further military offensives towards Aburoc in the Upper Nile region.

Despite the August 2015 peace agreement, South Sudan slipped back into conflict due to renewed clashes between rival forces – the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) loyal to President Salva Kiir and the SPLA in Opposition backing former First Vice-President Riek Machar.

Violence has caused a spike in the number of displaced people.