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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid