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    U.S. President Barack Obama holds a meeting on South Sudan and counterterrorism issues with African heads of state at his hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia July 27, 2015

    Obama Discusses Intervention Force for South Sudan With African Nations

    © REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
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    President Barack Obama discussed with African leaders forming a potential intervention force, according to the statement of official.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Barack Obama met with African leaders to discuss forming a potential intervention force and imposing sanctions on South Sudan if the country’s warring parties do not reach a peace deal by August 17, a senior administration official told reporters on Monday.

    “On South Sudan, there was widespread unanimity about the urgency and severity of the situation on the ground,” the official said.

    The official added that if the warring parties do not reach an agreement, they may face additional sanctions and the “possibility of a regional intervention force.”

    The official, however, underscored that the United States did propose the idea to establish such a force.

    In December 2013, violence erupted in South Sudan when President Salva Kiir accused former Vice President Riek Machar of plotting a coup. Their conflict sparked the ongoing clashes between government forces and rebel groups despite a number of ceasefire agreements.

    The East African Intergovernmental Authority on Development block, comprising of eight countries, has been leading the peace negotiations, with the latest deadline for an agreement scheduled for August 17, 2015.

    Earlier on Monday, Obama stated that without a breakthrough by the deadline, the United States will have to consider additional tools to apply pressure on the parties.

    President Obama is on his third trip to sub-Saharan Africa as part of a US effort to support peace and counter violent extremism on the continent.

    On Monday, the White House announced plans to provide about $465 million in assistance to United States’ African partners.


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