News / Africa

    AU Wants Humanitarian Corridor in South Sudan

    Negotiators at South Sudan peace talks in Addis Ababa review a draft cessation of hostilities agreement on Jan. 13, 2014.
    Negotiators at South Sudan peace talks in Addis Ababa review a draft cessation of hostilities agreement on Jan. 13, 2014.
    Peter Clottey
    The deputy chairman of the African Union (AU) says his organization is working with its international partners to put pressure on South Sudan’s warring factions to create a “humanitarian corridor” that would allow aid agencies to provide much needed assistance to the victims of the conflict.

    Erastus Mwencha tells VOA the AU is also encouraged with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD’s) efforts at ongoing peace talks in Ethiopia to help stabilize the security situation in South Sudan.

    The talks have reached a stalemate over the fate of 11 political detainees accused by President Salva Kiir of plotting to overthrow the government in Juba.  Former vice president Riek Machar has so far refused to sign a ceasefire agreement insisting that the detained officials should be released before an agreement.

    Mwencha says the AU supports IGAD’s efforts to help resolve the issues hampering the peace negotiations in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

    “The sticky issues which have become a major obstacle to cessation of hostilities that is the release of the detained officials and of course getting a ceasefire in place, so that we can provide humanitarian assistance is given support. Without them, there would be some efforts in this direction perhaps late this week or early next week,” said Mwencha.

    Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have been displaced by the unrest and Mwencha says there is need for the warring factions to grant access to aid groups who can provide assistance to the victims of the conflict.

    “The concern of all of us is really calling on the two parties to assume that responsibility of statesmanship and responsibility to the people of Sudan to save life. And that is why this effort to seek this window to support the people of Sudan who are suffering,” said Mwencha. “Creating a corridor means some kind of understanding between the warring parties, and what is on the table is the cessation of hostilities is extremely important.”

    At a recent meeting organized by IGAD, regional leaders agreed to put pressure on the warring factions to resolve the conflict in South Sudan.

    Mwencha says the decision of the regional leaders should be revisited since the two factions have refused to sign a ceasefire agreement in spite of international pressure.

    “Perhaps there is need now to review the status of these negotiations to see what the international community can do. And that is why we are redoubling efforts to bring pressure to bear beyond which of course the international community can decide what the next step should be,” said Mwencha.

    The violence erupted after President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, accused former vice president Riek Machar, a Nuer, of attempting a coup.  Mr. Macher who is in hiding has denied the accusation.  News reports say ethnic tension between the two groups is partly fueling the conflict, with members of the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups targeting each other.
    Clottey interview with Erastus Mwencha, AU deputy chairman
    Clottey interview with Erastus Mwencha, AU deputy chairmani
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.