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Military

Iran Press TV

AU 'deeply concerned' over South Sudan clashes

Iran Press TV

Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:44PM GMT

The African Union (AU) says it is 'deeply concerned' over the recent outbreak of clashes between rival military factions in South Sudan, which has left dozens of people killed.

The AU 'urges the government and leadership of South Sudan and all other stakeholders to exercise maximum restraint and avert any further escalation,' the chairwoman of the AU Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Dlamini-Zuma called on 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.'

She said the AU was ready to help the African country in finding a solution to the unrest.

According to hospital sources, at least 66 soldiers have been killed in two days of fierce battles that broke out between rival troops in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, late Sunday.

President Salva Kiir accused his archrival and former deputy, Riek Machar, of attempting to topple his government but said the coup attempt had been foiled.

South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 after its people overwhelmingly voted in a referendum for a split from the North.

The government in Juba is grappling with rampant corruption, unrest and conflict in the deeply impoverished but oil-rich nation, left devastated by decades of war.

MRS/PR



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