The African Union is considering imposing sanctions on leaders who will appear to be frustrating the South Sudan peace process, a senior official at the pan African body disclosed on Thursday.
Visiting African Union Commission (AUC) Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat who held talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi called on regional countries to help enforce peace in South Sudan and lauded Nairobi’s unwavering support to regional peace and stability.
Mahamat appealed to President Kenyatta and his colleagues in the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to remain on course in pushing for peace and stability in South Sudan.
“There is need to come up with more original proposals that will help resolve the problem in South Sudan. We are relying on you, Mr President, and your colleagues in IGAD to help,” Mahamat said, according to a statement from Kenyatta’s office issued after the meeting.
The AUC chairman appreciated the role played by Kenya in promoting peace and stability in Somalia and South Sudan.
During the meeting, the Kenyan leader voiced the growing concern and impatience on the slow pace of the peace process in Kenya’s northern neighbor.
“The situation in South Sudan is of great concern to us. After Naivasha (peace talks), we hoped we will have a stable and prosperous country. It is disappointing to see that the situation has deteriorated even further,” Kenyatta said.
He called on the South Sudan leaders to embrace the IGAD and AU-led peace processes, saying it was sad that the leaders were derailing the peace initiatives.
President Kenyatta assured that Kenya will remain steadfast on the revitalization of the South Sudan peace process.
The remarks come as the next round of peace talks earlier scheduled for Thursday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was postponed until further notice.
South Sudan has been embroiled in civil war since December 2013 and the conflict now in its fifth year has taken a devastating toll on the people, creating one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.
A peace deal signed in August 2015 between the rival leaders under UN pressure led to the establishment of a transitional unity government in April 2016, but was shattered by renewed fighting in July the same year.