News / Africa

Productive South Sudan Talks Amid Ongoing Violence

South Sudan Army Retakes Bori
X
December 26, 2013 6:43 AM
South Sudan's president says government troops have regained control of the town of Bor in Jonglei state, a week after rebel forces took over the town.
Watch related video from VOA
VOA News
African mediators say they have held productive talks with South Sudan President Salva Kiir on ending his country's spiraling unrest.
 
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn were among officials who met with Kiir in the capital, Juba, on Thursday.
 
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom says they discussed a range of issues.
 
"The issues we discussed were among others: one is cessation of hostilities and the second is the immediate start of talks or dialogue to settle the issue politically, and the third issue is on the detainees who are suspects of the coup."
 
Kiir has accused his ex-deputy and political rival, Riek Machar, of masterminding a coup attempt that sparked fierce clashes nearly two weeks ago.

  • Members of the South Sudan rebel delegation attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's peace negotiations, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
  • Taban Deng Gai, left, head of the rebel delegation and South Sudan's leader of the government delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial, attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's peace negotiations, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
  • Unidentified members of the delegation from the South Sudan government and western observers meet at the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
  • A displaced mother and her baby, one of the few to have a mosquito net, wake up at a refugee camp, Awerial, South Sudan, Jan. 2, 2014.
  • A young displaced girl carries a bucket of water back to her makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound. The compound has become home to thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Displaced people gather inside a mosquito net tent as they flee from the fighting between the South Sudanese army and rebels in Bor town, in Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 30, 2013.
  • A displaced woman hangs up laundry on the plastic sheeting wall of a latrine at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Yared, 2, is held by his mother, Madhn, who fled from the town of Bor a few days ago. She receives medicine for her child at a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical tent, at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • A young displaced boy rests on the wheel arch of a water truck while others fill containers from it, at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Africa, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • A family makes tea outside their makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • A general view of a camp for displaced people set up in a United Nations compound in Bor, South Sudan, Dec. 25, 2013.
  • South Sudan army soldiers hold their weapons as they ride on a truck in Bor, Dec. 25, 2013.

Both men have said they are ready for dialogue, but the government rejected Machar's demand that detained opposition leaders be released first.
 
Adhanom says the leaders also called for efforts to restore South Sudan's political stability.
 
"Leaders also have underlined that the unconstitutional means to remove democratically elected government should be condemned, and any solution to this crisis should be through political dialogue and the IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] countries," he said. "The two leaders who were here will do their best to resolve this problem amicably."
 
Violence continued in South Sudan's oil-producing northern region on Thursday as the talks got under way.
 
The military says government troops are battling forces loyal to Machar in the towns of Bentiu and Malakal.
 
U.N. officials say more than a thousand people have been killed in the violence, which has pitted Kiir's ethnic Dinkas against the Nuer ethnic group of Machar.
 
The United Nations says it hopes to begin receiving within the next 48 hours critical reinforcements of military hardware and personnel for its overstretched peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, which is on the verge of  civil war.

In a Thursday briefing, U.N. special representative for South Sudan Hilde Johnson urged the country's political leaders to stop violence perpetrated by their forces and give peace a chance.
 
"It is absolutely fundamental that the leaders of the country and all political forces and communities now put their own identity as South Sudanese first and not their own identity as members of a particular [ethnic] community," Johnson said. "It is on that account that this country can move forward out of a situation of violence and strife and on to a peaceful track."
 
Johnson also says the unrest has strained U.N. humanitarian resources and that U.N. humanitarian officials are seeking an additional $166 million in aid.
 
"We are now at over 50,000 civilians in our various compounds in Juba, Bor, Bentiu, Malakal and elsewhere, and their presence is an eloquent testimony to the acute need for enhanced U.N. operations in South Sudan."
 
Machar, who is on the run, has not claimed responsibility for a coup attempt but has said the army should remove Kiir from power.
 
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the country's leaders to settle their differences peacefully, and protect civilians from attacks.
 
On Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council voted to send an additional 5,500 peacekeepers to South Sudan.
 
Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called both President Kiir and former vice president Machar, urging them to halt fighting and hold mediated talks.
 
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid