News / Africa

E. African Leaders to Decide Details on S. Sudan Stabilization Force

South Sudanese hold banners during a rally in support of President Salva Kiir's administration in Juba, March 10, 2014.
South Sudanese hold banners during a rally in support of President Salva Kiir's administration in Juba, March 10, 2014.
Marthe van der Wolf
— East African leaders will meet in Ethiopia on Thursday to discuss the mandate and size of a stabilization and protection force to be deployed in South Sudan.

Heads of State of the East African bloc IGAD - which has been mediating talks between S. Sudan’s warring sides - are now turning attention to troop deployment.

Ethiopian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Dina Mufti said the extraordinary summit is devoted just to South Sudan.

"They'll be talking about the deployment of forces to the region, which most of them have agreed to because there is going to be a deployment of African brigades from all IGAD countries plus two other non-IGAD members, Burundi and Rwanda," said Dina Mufti.

Other countries that have said they are ready to send troops to South Sudan are Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. The presence of Ugandan troops in the country - from the beginning of the conflict - has led to criticism by the opposition side and the international community that they are an obstacle to a peaceful solution. So Uganda's troops will slowly be withdrawn.

Fighting broke out in South Sudan mid-December after a dispute within the ruling SPLM. The dispute led to fighting between forces of President Salva Kirr and soldiers loyal to former vice president Riek Machar.
 
A January cease-fire hasn’t taken hold, so regional leaders are determining how best to reinforce the truce.  Dina Mufti said they're looking at how many troops will be needed and the extent of their mandate.

"This is a kind of peacekeeping force so they are going to reinforce or realize the cessation of hostilities, they'll help that process. They'll help the monitors and the people who verify the cessation of hostilities or the ceasefire," said Dina Mufti.

After IGAD heads of state decide on the mandate and the size of the force, the African Union and the United Nations will need to give approval before the force can actually be deployed.

The conflict in South Sudan has killed thousands of people and displaced close to a million. To ensure the participation of the South Sudanese people in the peace process, a civil society conference will be held in Addis Ababa after the IGAD summit.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
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 US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
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.

AppleAndroid