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African Union summit opens in Ethiopia; food security, South Sudan crisis on agenda

African leaders are meeting in Ethiopia at a summit focusing mainly on food security in Africa amid outbreaks of violence across parts of the continent.

Opening the African Union summit Thursday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said he was "deeply concerned by the emergence of new conflicts" that threaten Africa's collective peace and stability.

Under a regional bloc, Ethiopia is helping to mediate the conflict in South Sudan. Last week both sides reached a ceasefire deal, bringing a halt to heavy fighting. That conflict alone has left 3.7 million people severely food-insecure, according to the United Nations.

The U.S. is urging both sides in South Sudan to reach a political solution that could to lead to a more durable peace.

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