The African Union has called for action against South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel Riek Machar for violating the recent peace agreement.
The AU Commission chairman, Dr Mousa Faki Mahamat, appealed to continental leaders to take unified tough measures against the two leaders for their reluctance to commit to end the war.
Dr Mahamat, in a statement issued on Saturday at the AU summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania, said the two leaders were notorious for disregarding peace deals.
“We are used to them not respecting their commitments,” the AU chief said, referring to President Kiir and Dr Machar.
“The situation in South Sudan is serious. We have to send a clear message to the players to respect their commitments,” he added.
A combo photo of South Sudan President Salva Kiir (left) and the leader of South Sudan’s largest rebel group and former Vice-President Riek Machar. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
President Kiir and Dr Machar last Thursday in Khartoum declared a permanent ceasefire countrywide, but fighting resumed on Friday in multiple locations.
The military offensive by both sides has cast doubt about the seriousness of the two leaders to bring peace to South Sudan.
The international community that has committed immense resources to the South Sudan peace process has reacted angrily to the renewed fighting.
South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup.
Over 2 million South Sudanese have become refugees in neighbouring countries and another 1.9 million others remain internally displaced, according to the UN.
The war has also caused one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises after the Rwanda 1994 genocide, the UN added.
Multiple human rights abuses have also been documented by various groups.