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UN council to meet on South Sudan

AFP , Friday 4 Sep 2015
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In this photo provided by UN Photo, the United Nations Security Council meets at the UN headquarters Monday, Jan 19, 2015 to discuss the maintenance of international peace and security ( AP)
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The UN Security Council will meet Friday to discuss the ongoing fighting in South Sudan despite a peace deal that had raised hopes of an end to the 20-month-long war.

The 15-member council will meet behind closed doors from 1400 GMT, at the request of the United States which is calling for an arms embargo and sanctions to be imposed on those who block the deal.

Under the agreement signed by President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, a ceasefire was due to enter into force on Saturday, but fighting has continued in Upper Nile state.

Council members will hear a report on the situation on the ground from UN envoy Ellen Margrethe Loej, who will speak by video-link from Juba, diplomats said.

The world's youngest nation, South Sudan descended into bloodshed in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar, then his deputy, of planning a coup.

The violence has left tens of thousands of people dead and left the impoverished country split along ethnic lines.

Over two million people have fled their homes in the war marked by gang rapes and the use of child soldiers. Some 200,000 terrified civilians are sheltering inside UN bases.

The United States has presented a draft UN resolution imposing an arms embargo and targeted sanctions on individuals who block provisions of the peace accord.

The resolution has yet to come up for a vote.

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