UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations chief says the promise of peace and justice in South Sudan has been "squandered" and the country is "poised on the brink of an abyss."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also said Thursday he is appalled by the scale of sexual violence documented by human rights monitors, who found that South Sudanese government soldiers raped dozens of ethnic Nuer women and girls last week just outside a U.N. camp where they were seeking protection.
Ban demanded that those responsible be held accountable and called on leaders to recommit to the peace process.
South Sudan, the world's youngest country, has been riven by ethnic violence since late 2013 when a civil war broke out between the Dinka and Nuer peoples. A peace agreement was signed in August, but fighting continues.