US draft warns Sudan, S.Sudan of possible sanctions
* Rice: UN council starts talks Thursday on draft
* Envoys: China, Russia reluctant to issue threats
UNITED NATIONS, April 26 (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday circulated to the U.N. Security Council a draft resolution that warns Sudan and South Sudan of sanctions if they do not comply with African Union demands to swiftly stop border clashes and resolve their many disputes.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told reporters the Security Council would begin discussing the draft resolution on Thursday and that it would likely need at least a few days of talks among members before going to a vote.
The AU's Peace and Security Council on Tuesday urged both sides to cease hostilities within 48 hours and to withdraw troops from disputed areas, and warned it would issue its own binding rulings if they fail to strike deals on a string of disputes within three months.
The draft resolution, obtained by Reuters, reaffirms those demands and warns Khartoum and Juba of "its determination, in the event that one or both of the parties have not complied, to take appropriate additional measures under Article 41 of the (U.N.) Charter."
Chapter 7 Article 41 of the U.N. Charter allows the council to impose sanctions to enforce compliance with its decisions.
Council diplomats said privately that China and Russia, which are usually reluctant to impose sanctions on any nation, had expressed reluctance to threaten the two Sudans with punitive measures. Beijing has traditionally acted as Khartoum's protector on the Security Council. www.trust.org