News / Africa

    Kenyan President Says he Will Not Allow Genocide in South Sudan

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta reacts as he attends Mashujaa (Heroes) Day at the Nyayo National Stadium in capital Nairobi, Oct. 20, 2013. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta reacts as he attends Mashujaa (Heroes) Day at the Nyayo National Stadium in capital Nairobi, Oct. 20, 2013.
    x
    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta reacts as he attends Mashujaa (Heroes) Day at the Nyayo National Stadium in capital Nairobi, Oct. 20, 2013.
    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta reacts as he attends Mashujaa (Heroes) Day at the Nyayo National Stadium in capital Nairobi, Oct. 20, 2013.
    Reuters
    Kenya's president said he would not let the conflict in neighboring South Sudan descend into genocide, though he stopped short of spelling out any action to end the increasingly ethnic slaughter.
     
    Four months of fighting between government and rebels in the world's newest nation has raised fears of a wider conflict that could further destabilize a fragile region and send hundreds of thousands more refugees over borders.
     
    Uganda, another neighbor of oil-producing South Sudan, has already sent in troops to back the government. Regional bloc IGAD, which is brokering troubled peace talks, has said it will hold a meeting in coming days to “consider options”.
     
    “We refuse to be witnesses to such atrocities and to remain helpless and hopeless in their wake,” Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement late on Friday.
     
    “We especially reject the possibility that we are creeping into genocide again in our region. We shall not stand by and allow it to happen.”
     
    Fighting began in December between troops loyal to South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy, Riek Machar. Clashes spread quickly beyond the capital, often pitting Kiir's Dinka people against Machar's Nuer.
     
    The United Nations said rebels slaughtered hundreds of civilians when they seized the South Sudan oil hub of Bentiu earlier this month, hunting down men, women and children who had sought refuge in a hospital, a mosque and a Catholic church. The rebels dismissed the accusations.
     
    Days later, Dinka residents of Bor town in Jonglei state attacked a U.N. base where about 5,000 people, mostly Nuer, were sheltering, the United Nations said.
     
    Kenyatta's use of the word “genocide” has resonance in a region that has vowed never to see a repeat of the ethnic slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Rwandans twenty years ago.
     
    The stalled talks are due to resume in Ethiopia on Monday to try and thrash out a deal on political reform after a long power struggle between Kiir and Machar triggered the unrest.
     
    South Sudan's government, under growing pressure from regional and Western powers to end the conflict, on Friday released four senior political figures it had accused of helping start the violence in a bid to seize power.
     
    Machar's negotiation team on Saturday welcomed the release of the four detainees - a former top ruling party official, national security minister, deputy finance minister and ambassador to Washington - after treason charges were dropped.
     
    But rebel spokesman Hussein Mar Nyot said another of their key demands - the exit of Ugandan troops and other militia supporting the government - had not been met.
     
    “If these forces from outside are withdrawn, this will give a very strong ground for peace to come,” Nyot told Reuters.
     
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel next week to Ethiopia, another South Sudanese neighbor which is leading the mediation, to discuss peace efforts in the region.
     
    South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in 2011 under the terms of a peace deal that ended decades of civil war fuelled by ethnicity, religion, ideology and oil rights.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Lawrence Chiang from: Nairobi
    April 28, 2014 3:03 PM
    it is so ridiculous and unfortunate for Africa and the world to talk about this deadly conflict like they are reluctant. They should do something beginning from Museveni and the two principals of alleged S.Sudan. Museveni must pay fir this because he is the one who prolonged this ugly situation in the country. should African leaders do something I think no. let the international community handle this peacefully.

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    April 27, 2014 3:40 AM
    Africa has no options or capacity to stop any ongoing atrocities and genocide within their borders. The good thing is President Kenyatta have got the nerve to say openly that he will never allow genocide in S. Sudan. But the bad thing is that the world could see that Kenyatta is simply exercising political lip service!

    by: Jeffrey
    April 27, 2014 1:02 AM
    Maybe the BBC could send its intrepid reporter Roy to cover this situation in South Sudan, having completed his myopic Zimbabwe assignment. ?

    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.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora