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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More