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South Sudan warring parties committing 'massive crimes'

African Union chairman condemns warring parties for first time

South Sudan warring parties committing 'massive crimes' FILE PHOTO - Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat

By Seleshi Tessema


African Union (AU) Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat on Thursday accused the South Sudanese warring parties of committing massive crimes against civilians.

In a speech to mark African Day at the AU's Addis Ababa headquarters, he said: “I urge the parties to stop these massive crimes and, without delay, to establish an inclusive dialogue, to re-determine a peaceful destiny for their people.”

It was the first time the newly elected AU chairman had condemned the leaders of the opposing sides in South Sudan's ongoing civil war.

He dubbed the tragedy of the country “most unbearable” and added that the war had forced 3 million people from their homes.

South Sudan has been mired in conflict since December 2013. A peace deal signed in August 2015 broke down after less than a year and tens of thousands of people have been killed. According to the UN, 5.3 million people are at risk of starvation.

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