UNITED NATIONS, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Thursday called for immediate efforts by the parties in South Sudan to fully honor their commitment to carry out an agreement for a permanent ceasefire in the world's youngest country.
The 15-nation UN body, in a presidential statement adopted at an open meeting on South Sudan, "expresses its deep concern at the failure of the parties to fully adhere to their commitments to implement the agreement," known as the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.
The Security Council called for the "immediate adhere to the permanent ceasefire by all forces of the parties to the conflict and all other armed groups," the statement said.
The council urges all the parties to "urgently address the challenges faced by humanitarian personnel in the delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout South Sudan and specifically to famine-affected ares, including through meetings of the Humanitarian High Level Oversight Committee and urgent implement of its decisions," the statement said.
"The Security Council expresses deep concern at the situation in South Sudan, stresses again that there is no military solution to the conflict, and renews its condemnation of continued fighting across the country," the statement said.
"The Security Council is deeply alarmed that famine was declared in parts of South Sudan, that many more South Sudanese face severe food insecurity, and is deeply concerned about the actions of all parties to the conflict that are perpetuating the humanitarian crisis," the statement said.
Intense fighting in South Sudan has displaced 1.5 million people who have been forced to leave the country and seek safety since conflict erupted in December 2013.
The intense fighting broke out in South Sudan in July 2016 following the collapse of a peace deal between the government and opposition forces.
The United Nations said that more than 760,000 refugees fled the country in 2016, as the conflict intensified in the second half of the year -- on an average of 63,000 people were forced to leave the country per month.
South Sudan has faced ongoing challenges since a political face-off between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice-President Riek Machar erupted into full conflict in December 2013.
The crisis has produced one of the world's worst displacement situations with immense suffering for civilians.
Despite the August 2015 peace agreement that formally ended the war, conflict and instability have also spread to previously unaffected areas.