South Sudan is likely to experience continued instability and a worsening humanitarian situation for the next year, the United Nations secretary-general says in a report being presented on Tuesday to the Security Council.
Under what he describes as “the most likely scenario” for the fractured country, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expects only partial implementation of a ceasefire agreement between government forces and rebel troops.
“Human rights violations are bound to continue in the absence of a peace agreement and reconciliation,” Mr Ban adds in the report based on assessments by the UN Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss).
“In addition, the humanitarian situation could continue to deteriorate as agricultural activities are paralysed and there are few signs of an economic recovery.”
The report also sketches a “worst-case scenario” involving “continued atrocities and grave violations of human rights.” This eventuality carries “an increased risk of involvement by external actors” in South Sudan.
UN compounds where thousands of civilians are sheltering could also be attacked, the report warns.
Mr Ban is asking the Security Council to approve a one-year increase in Unmiss strength to 12,500 troops and 1323 police personnel.
The added forces would come from UN peacekeeping deployments in Sudan's Darfur region and other trouble spots.
Helicopters have also been transferred to Unmiss from the UN military operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.