US warns South Sudan’s foreign minister about possible sanctions if no peace deal reached

The U.S. has warned South Sudan’s foreign minister that United Nations sanctions could be the punishment for people who stand in the way of that country achieving peace after a year of conflict.

A U.S. official says U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power met Wednesday with Barnaba Benjamin. The official says a deputy ambassador, David Pressman, told Benjamin that the U.S. is working on a Security Council draft resolution that would authorize sanctions against individuals who threaten South Sudan’s peace and security.

The resolution is meant to pressure President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar to reach a peace agreement after multiple cease-fires have failed.

Fighting between their supporters has killed thousands, and 1.9 million have fled.

The U.S. official spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

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