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US place June 30 ultimatum on S. Sudan conflict.

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The UN Security Council is set to vote on a draft resolution presented by the United States that would give warring sides in South Sudan until June 30 to end fighting or face possible sanctions.

The proposed measure, which was seen by AFP, lists South Sudan’s defense minister among six officials who could be put on a UN sanctions blacklist if the sides fail to reach a peace deal.

The draft resolution would require UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to report by June 30 whether fighting has stopped and whether the sides have “come to a viable political agreement.”

If not, the council “shall consider” imposing the sanctions and possibly an arms embargo within five days, according to the draft resolution.

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Diplomats said it remained unclear whether the United States will win the required nine votes in the 15-member council to put in motion the move to punish South Sudan’s leaders.

In 2016, Washington failed to win enough votes at the Security Council for the arms embargo and targeted sanctions.

South Sudan won independence from Sudan in 2011, with critical backing from the United States, which remains Juba’s biggest aid donor.

But the US administration has grown increasingly frustrated with President Salva Kiir’s government as the brutal war grinds on, now in its fourth year.

In an op-ed on South Sudan published this week in the Washington Post, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said: “We have no more time to waste on empty promises.”

“By imposing financial and travel restrictions on individuals responsible for threatening the peace, we can ensure they pay a cost for perpetuating violence,” she wrote.

The United States last week proposed sanctions against the six South Sudanese officials but amended its proposal following negotiations to add the June 30 deadline.

The Inter Governmental Authority on Development which is overseeing revival of the 2015 peace deal has also been asked to take action against saboteurs after several talks between government and rebels failed.

Since the start of the war in December 2013, nearly 1.8 million people have been forced to flee their homes and tens of thousands have been killed.

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UN reports about 900 fatalities in DR Congo’s ethnic violence.

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The united nations report that at least 890 people were killed in over just 3 days in ethnic violence in western DRC in mid-december.

The UN Human Rights Office reports the violence took place in four villages between Banunu and Batende communities.



The UN however warns the death toll could be higher. But there seems to be conflicting death tolls for the violence.

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A local priest and a civil society activist earlier in the week said at least 400 people had died in bloodshed that even led to the government canceling voting in last month’s presidential polls.

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The UN insists that 890 is the number of people known to have been buried.

The recent attack from the ethnic clashes in Yumbi, Mai-Ndombe Province allegedly started when members of the Banunu tribe wanted to bury one of their traditional chiefs on Batende land.

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Britain, UN worry over Internet shutdown in Zimbabwe.

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In the wake of deadly protests against a fuel price hike, and an ongoing internet shutdown in Zimbabwe, the United Nations has urged the government to stop “excessive use of force” by security forces including firing live ammunition.

The government has said three people died during demonstrations that broke out on Monday after President Emmerson Mnangagwa raised fuel prices by 150 percent.

Lawyers and activists say the toll was much higher and that security forces used violence and carried out mass arrests to quell the unrest.



The internet was cut off earlier this week, with critics saying the government sought to prevent images of its heavy-handedness in dealing with protesters from being broadcast around the world.

Leading mobile operator Econet Wireless said the government had ordered it to shut down services.

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“We were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice,” Econet said in a statement.

“Our lawyers advised that we are required to comply with the directive pending the court’s decision on its legality.”

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Friday’s fuller internet shutdown also affected emails.

Due to the shutdown, Harare banks were providing only partial services and no cash machines were working, a witness said, while long queues formed at petrol stations and shops.

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