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AU concerned over South Sudan unrest

18 December 2013, 08:16

Addis Ababa - The African Union said on Tuesday it was "deeply concerned" about events in South Sudan following two days of deadly fighting in the young nation, and urged restraint.

The AU "urges the government and leadership of South Sudan and all other stakeholders to exercise maximum restraint and avert any further escalation”, the head of the AU's executive council, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said in a statement.

Gunfire erupted between rival troops in the capital Juba late on Sunday.

President Salva Kiir accused his arch-rival and former deputy Riek Machar of attempting to stage a coup but said it had been defeated.

The AU said it was ready to assist in finding a solution to the crisis.

Dlamini-Zuma urged the rival factions "to seek the resolution of their differences through peaceful means, with due respect for the rule of law, human rights and constitutional legality".

Since independence in July 2011, Kiir has struggled to stem rampant corruption and quell rebellion and conflict in the deeply impoverished but oil-rich nation, left devastated by decades of war.



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