South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has agreed to “unconditional dialogue” on ending deadly strife in the country, diplomats say.
Kiir made the commitment to African foreign ministers who went to Juba in a bid to end fighting in which hundreds of people have been killed, UN Security Council president Gerard Araud told reporters.
The president has “apparently accepted to enter into unconditional dialogue,” Araud, France’s UN ambassador, told reporters after an emergency UN Security Council meeting on the South Sudan crisis.
Araud initially said that former vice president Riek Machar had also agreed to dialogue, but later corrected his comments.
Ministers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Sudan went to Juba on a mission to try to end nearly a week of strife in which hundreds have died.
They held talks with Kiir but not with Machar.
The ministers were also trying to see detainees held since the fighting erupted on Sunday.
The 15-member Security Council agreed on a statement which called on Kiir and Machar “to demonstrate leadership in bringing a swift and peaceful resolution to this crisis by calling for a cessation of hostilities and immediately commencing a dialogue”.
The council expressed “grave alarm” at the worsening crisis which it said was a threat to the whole region.