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African Union threatens South Sudan violators

31 December 2013 14:09

342918_South-Sudan

The African Union (AU) has threatened tough measures, including sanctions, against those who have orchestrated the ongoing violence in South Sudan.

The AU expressed its concerns over the unrelenting violence in the world’s youngest country at a meeting in Gambia, West Africa, on Monday, saying the fighting is feared to spread in the region.

“[The AU Peace and Security Council] expresses its intention to take appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against all those who incite violence, including along ethnic lines, continue hostilities [and] undermine the envisaged inclusive dialogue,” the AU said in a communiqué after a Peace and Security Council meeting in the Gambian capital, Banjul.

The violence erupted in South Sudan on December 15 after President Salva Kiir accused former Vice President Reik Machar of attempting to stage a coup.

According to the United Nations, clashes between the rebels backed by Machar and the forces loyal to the incumbent president have forced thousands to leave to neighboring states. Over 1,000 people have also lost their lives in the bloody conflict.

Heavy fighting between the government forces and rebels is going on in South Sudan’s oil-rich regions despite efforts by regional leaders to facilitate an immediate ceasefire.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said on Monday that the east African nations have agreed to move against Machar and defeat him if he rejected the government’s ceasefire offer.

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