Addis Ababa - The African Union said on Tuesday it was
"deeply concerned" about events in South Sudan following two days of
deadly fighting in the young nation, and urged restraint.
The AU "urges the government and leadership of South
Sudan and all other stakeholders to exercise maximum restraint and avert any
further escalation”, the head of the AU's executive council, Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma, said in a statement.
Gunfire erupted between rival troops in the capital Juba
late on Sunday.
President Salva Kiir accused his arch-rival and former
deputy Riek Machar of attempting to stage a coup but said it had been defeated.
The AU said it was ready to assist in finding a solution
to the crisis.
Dlamini-Zuma urged the rival factions "to seek the
resolution of their differences through peaceful means, with due respect for
the rule of law, human rights and constitutional legality".
Since independence in July 2011, Kiir has struggled to
stem rampant corruption and quell rebellion and conflict in the deeply
impoverished but oil-rich nation, left devastated by decades of war.