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Published: Friday January 10, 2014 MYT 11:55:04 PM
Updated: Friday January 10, 2014 MYT 11:55:57 PM

Exclusive-U.S. weighs targeted sanctions against South Sudan - sources

Displaced men smoke shisha at Tomping camp, where some 17,000 displaced people who fled their homes are being sheltered by the United Nations, in Juba January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Andreea Campeanu

Displaced men smoke shisha at Tomping camp, where some 17,000 displaced people who fled their homes are being sheltered by the United Nations, in Juba January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Andreea Campeanu

UNITED NATIONS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is weighing targeted sanctions against South Sudan due to its leaders' failure to take steps to end a crisis that has brought the world's youngest nation to the brink of civil war, sources briefed on U.S. discussions told Reuters.

"It's a tool that has been discussed," a source told Reuters on condition of anonymity about the possibility of U.S. sanctions against those blocking peace efforts or fuelling violence in South Sudan. Another source confirmed the remarks, though both declined to provide details on the precise measures under consideration.

No decisions have been made yet, the sources added. Targeted sanctions focus on specific individuals, entities or sectors of country.

The U.S. government was unlikely to consider steps intended to economically harm impoverished South Sudan but would likely focus on any measures on those individuals or groups it sees as blocking efforts at brokering peace or committing atrocities.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau and Warren Strobel; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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