UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council urgently called Friday for South Sudan’s feuding political leaders to resolve a mounting crisis and threatened targeted sanctions against those who thwart peace efforts.
A presidential statement approved by all 15 council members pressed President Salva Kiir and former vice president and current rebel leader Riek Machar to implement a cease-fire and form a transitional government by Sunday.
The statement didn’t name potential targets of sanctions but cited “those who take action that undermines the peace, stability, and security of South Sudan, including those who prevent the implementation of these agreements.”
The Security Council, which plans to visit South Sudan next week, also warned that a “catastrophic” lack of food could lead to famine.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power welcomed “the strong and unified message” from the council, especially the threat of sanctions.