News / Africa

South Sudan Government, Rebels to Talk, Fighting Continues

South Sudanese army soldiers are seen guarding Malakal town, 497km northeast of capital Juba, Dec. 30, 2013 after retaking the town from rebel fighters.
South Sudanese army soldiers are seen guarding Malakal town, 497km northeast of capital Juba, Dec. 30, 2013 after retaking the town from rebel fighters.
Pamela Dockins
Representatives of South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, and rebel leader Riek Machar, are launching peace talks in Ethiopia in a bid to end spiraling civil unrest that has claimed more than 1,000 lives.  The peace talks mark the first meeting between the two sides since the conflict erupted in mid-December.

South Sudan's foreign affairs minister, Baranaba Marial Benjamin, says the government is ready to negotiate.

He questions if the opposition has made the same commitment..

"We are for dialogue, unconditional dialogue, without any conditions," he said.  "It was the other side putting conditions."

Earlier, the government had rejected one of former Vice President Riek Machar's conditions for talks, the release of his political allies who were jailed in the early days of the crisis.

A Machar delegate, Hussein Mar Nyuot, again called for their release.

"If you keep them in detention and you say you are going for peace, you are not giving a good gesture," he said. "So, we urge President Kiir and we are also asking the international community and members of IGAD [Inter-Governmental Authority on Development] to put pressure for the release of these detainees."

"We don't want our country to degenerate into ethnic fighting," he continued. "We want it to be handled as a political issue to be handled by the government and by the opposition that is fighting. We sit down."

The talks are taking place as fighting continues in South Sudan.

The violence erupted in mid-December.  Kiir accused Machar of attempting a coup, a charge Machar denies.

Machar has called Kiir a dictator who tries to silence his critics within the ruling party.

The U.S. envoy to South Sudan, Donald Booth, says the talks in Ethiopia are a good first step toward ending the dispute.

"A very important step to achieving the cessation of hostilities and a beginning to negotiations, to resolve the underline political issues that led to the violence that has gripped South Sudan in the past two weeks," he said.

The ensuing violence between the two sides has forced tens of thousands of people to flee.

Many refugees who have fled fighting in the town of Bor have wound up in Awerial.  

Doctors Without Border's David Nash told VOA the village does not have the facilities to cope with the large numbers.

"People have no clean drinking water, no sanitation and everybody is sheltering under the trees.  The only water is the Nile," he said. "We are right on the banks of the Nile here and they are using that for washing, for drinking, for bathing, for everything and there are hardly any latrines here, so you can imagine the conditions."

He says many of the refugees at the site are women and children who fled their homes with whatever they could carry.

De Capua interview with MSF's David Nash
De Capua interview with MSF's David Nashi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: WILLIAM JAGEI from: UGANDA
January 01, 2014 2:59 PM
UGANDA LEAVE US ALONE IN SOUTH SUDAN

by: james from: kenya
January 01, 2014 11:28 AM
African leaders when will we stop being selfish...South Sudanese why do you want to prove to your colonizers that you are no better than animals who tear each other can you stop the fight and stand for your indipendecne..you have become a ploughing still for black Africans

by: koang nuer from: canada
January 01, 2014 5:59 AM
Uganda leave us alone.

by: koang from: canada
January 01, 2014 5:52 AM
Kirr is not a leader,is akiller,Noway for being Nuer leader,he kill nuer if there is no nuer new nation.

by: sheriff aboubakar aoudaka from: sweden
December 31, 2013 9:51 AM
thank to ethiopia and kenya SUDAN .CAR we never finish toking now wera hearing somting in Congo thice is african voice without voice

by: Gatluke from: Canada
December 31, 2013 9:07 AM
Have you noticed that President Kirr send his wife to Nigeria to consulted with Magician two days before he Killed our innocents Nuer. Here is a prove video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1bDzJL99LY
In Response

by: sheriff aboubakar aoudaka from: sweden
December 31, 2013 10:15 AM
the majority of top politicien in africa working with juju

by: Akoon from: Jebel in Juba
December 31, 2013 8:42 AM
Let Riek go and explain why he is killing innocent people because of interest of power
In Response

by: sheriff aboubakar aoudaka from: sweden
December 31, 2013 11:42 AM
is an condition contract which you have to signe with juju to help you keep in Power so juju need blod and from wear can you bring the blod to juju only war the easy wy to juju

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs