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US Urges Resumption of Peace Talks in S. Sudan

FILE - Donald Booth, U.S. special envoy to South Sudan.

The United States envoy to South Sudan urged the warring factions to resume peace talks, a day after the United Nations warned of imposing sanctions against anyone who threatens the "peace, security or stability of South Sudan.''

The way to peace "is through negotiations'' between the warring factions, Ambassador Donald Booth told a news conference Wednesday in the South Sudanese capital, Juba.

Booth reiterated security council threats, saying the sanctions would target those "individuals who are obstructing peace." He admonished both sides for using "scare tactics" to spread fear that the sanctions would affect the already beleaguered South Sudanese population.

South Sudan won independence from Sudan - its northern neighbor - in 2011, thanks in part to support from Washington. But civil war broke out in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup.

Fighting in the oil-rich East African country has killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 2 million people.

The international community has been urging a political solution, but Kiir and Machar have failed to agree on issues such as how to share power in the event of a unity government.

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