African Union Urges Sanctions on South Sudan as Clashes Continue

The African Union criticized South Sudan’s warring leaders for continuing fighting and renewed its call for sanctions on individuals who are committing violations and pursuing conflict.

Fresh efforts to engage South Sudan’s government and rebels in expanded peace talks with regional and continental leaders are an “imperative,” African Union Commission Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said in a statement e-mailed late Tuesday.

“This tragedy is a dark blot on the conscience of the international community in general and Africa in particular,” she said.

Regional peace talks stalled in March after South Sudanese government and rebel leaders failed to reach a power-sharing deal. Fighting in Unity state this month has displaced about 100,000 people and 2.5 million are at risk of hunger and disease nationwide, Dlamini-Zuma said.

Clashes have occurred sporadically in the world’s newest nation since December 2013 when a power-struggle within the ruling party led to the army fracturing. The violence has killed tens of thousands of people, according to the United Nations.