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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora