Politics

Obama says South Sudan getting worse, hints at sanctions

President Obama indicated on Monday that he's not confident a ceasefire agreement will be able to stop South Sudan's civil war in the coming weeks, and said other steps may be needed to give warring factions the right incentives.

"We don't have a lot of time to wait; the conditions on the ground are getting much, much worse," Obama said before sitting down with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, head of the African Union, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Sudanese Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

An East African regional organization has been brokering peace talks, and set an Aug. 17 deadline for parties in the civil war to accept its plan.

"If we don't see a breakthrough by August 17, then we're going to have to consider what other tools we have to apply greater pressure on the parties," Obama said during a news conference in Ethiopia with Desalegn.

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