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UN steps up efforts - with thousands now thought dead in South Sudan

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UN steps up efforts - with thousands now thought dead in South Sudan

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As South Sudan sinks deeper into conflict with thousands of deaths reported in recent days, President Salva Kiir says government troops have retaken the key town of Bor from rebels loyal to his rival, ex-Vice President Riek Machar.

With the power struggle escalating, the UN has agreed to almost double peace keeper numbers to 12,500.

Addressing the Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “I reiterate the calls for maximum restraint for all communities in South Sudan. There is no military solution to this conflict. This is a political crisis which requires a peaceful, political solution.”

Reports of mass graves have fuelled fears for civilians caught up in the bloodletting that has divided the world’s newest state along ethnic lines.

With thousands displaced, many of them seeking protection at UN bases, the World Food Program is delivering vital aid.