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African leaders try to calm South Sudanese violence

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JUBA, South Sudan — Fighting persisted in parts of South Sudan’s oil-producing region as African leaders today tried to mediate between the country’s president and the political rivals he accuses of attempting a coup that the government insists sparked violence threatening to destroy the world’s newest country.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn met with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir this morning. A senior government official warned that Riek Machar, the former vice president who now allegedly commands renegade forces in the states of Unity and Upper Nile, had to renounce rebellion before the government could negotiate with him.

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