World News

Kerry: Kidnapping of Nigerian Girls in 'Unconscionable'

The top U.S. diplomat says the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls is "an unconscionable crime."

Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday in Addis Ababa the U.S. will do "everything possible" to support the Nigerian government in returning the young women to their homes.

Ethiopia is Kerry's latest stop on his multi-nation tour of Africa. His trip is largely focused on security and human rights issues.

In the Ethiopian capital, Kerry met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to discuss Somalia's efforts to fight the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab.

Kerry next travels Saturday to the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital to meet with President Joseph Kabila. The two will discuss recent security gains against rebel groups in volatile eastern Congo.

After a stop in Angola, Kerry returns to Washington Monday.

On Friday, Kerry tried to arrange direct talks between South Sudan's president and the country's top rebel leader, in hopes of ending four months of deadly violence.

He met for more than an hour with President Salva Kiir and later spoke by phone to rebel chief Riek Machar. U.S. officials said Machar did not make a commitment to attend talks, but also did not rule it out.

Kerry said projected talks between the men could take place next week in Ethiopia's capital, where peace talks between South Sudanese government and rebel forces have made little progress.

Also Friday, the United Nation's special advisor on the prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng, said that the conflict in South Sudan has quickly deteriorated into ethnic violence and said there is a risk it could turn into genocide.

Fighting erupted across South Sudan in December after Mr. Kiir accused Machar of attempting a coup. The violence has killed thousands and displaced more than 1 million people.

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