Nigeria and United States President Barrack Obama have expressed concerns about the crisis in South Sudan which erupted over an attempted court last Sunday.
In a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Government of Nigeria urged parties in the crisis to embrace peace by seeking a political solution. According to the statement, an estimated 500 lives have been lost, and another 700 hundred persons injured.
“Destruction of property on a level yet to be determined has also been reported.
“While a Foreign Ministry statement in Juba claims that calm has returned to the capital, news reports maintain that Bor, the capital of Jonglei State, is under rebel control. Ditto for Torit, capital of Eastern Equatoria.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria strongly condemns the attempted coup, and the consequent crisis that has claimed lives and property. It, therefore, implores all sides to the conflict to exercise maximum restraint and seek a negotiated settlement to the political crisis in the interest of good governance, democracy, peace and stability of the country and the region”, the statement added.
Obama in a statement released by the White House and made available to our correspondent by the US Embassy in Abuja lamented that the country was sliding to the crisis era.
He said, “In 2011, millions of South Sudanese voted to forge a new nation, founded on the promise of a more peaceful and prosperous future for all of South Sudan’s people. In recent years, against great odds, South Sudan has made great progress toward breaking the cycle of violence that characterized much of its history.
“Today, that future is at risk. South Sudan stands at the precipice. Recent fighting threatens to plunge South Sudan back into the dark days of its past.
“But it doesn’t have to be that way. South Sudan has a choice. Its leaders can end the violence and work to resolve tensions peacefully and democratically. Fighting to settle political scores or to destabilize the government must stop immediately.
Obama urged the feuding parties to dialogue and pursue reconciliation.
To achieve this, he said, inflammatory rhetoric and targeted violence must cease.