News / Africa

Kerry Tries to Arrange Kiir-Machar Talks

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds a media conference praising oil-rich Angola's leadership for solving  conflicts on the African continent, in Luanda, Angola, May 5, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with civil society leaders at the U.S. Chief of Mission Residence in Luanda, Angola, May 4, 2014.
  • Angola's Foreign Minister Georges Rebelo Chicoti, right, walks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prior to their meeting at the Finance Ministry in Luanda, Angola, May 5, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks by the Congo River near the U.S. Chief of Mission Residence in Kinshasa, DRC, May 3, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and entrepreneur Patricia Nzolantima point at an ultrasound machine during a tour of a Sustainable Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa medical supply store in Kinshasa, DRC, May 3, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry applauds a local dancer prior to speaking prior to speaking about U.S. policy in Africa at the Gullele Botanic Garden in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 3, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Olusegun Obasanjo, chairman of the African Union's South Sudan Commission of Inquiry, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 2, 2014. 
  • South Sudan's President Salva Kiir chats with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the president's office in Juba, South Sudan, May 2, 2014. 
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with civil society leaders at the U.S. embassy to compel authorities on both sides of the fighting to put a stop to the violence, Juba, South Sudan, May 2, 2014. 

     
  • South Sudanese Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry upon his arrival at Juba International Airport, South Sudan, May 2, 2014. 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Africa
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to South Sudan Friday to meet with President Salva Kiir in hopes of arranging talks to end four-months of violence that has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians

The secretary visited South Sudan's capital of Juba before returning to Addis Ababa later in the day.

Kerry is trying to help end violence that has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians and now threatens widespread famine.

He is trying to set up a meeting in the Ethiopian capital next week that would be the first face-to-face meeting between President Kiir and former vice president Machar since this fighting started.

"This meeting of Riek Machar and President Kiir is critical to the ability to be able to really engage in a serious way as to how the cessation of hostilities agreement will now once and for all really be implemented, and how that can be augmented by the discussions regarding a transition government," Kerry said.

Fighting broke out in late December, soon after the Kiir government accused Machar of trying to seize power.

Kerry said both men need to condemn attacks against civilians that he said show "disturbing leading indicators of the kind of ethnic, tribal, targeted, nationalistic killings" that "present a very serious challenge to the international community with respect to the question of genocide."

Kerry met for more than an hour with Kiir and said the South Sudanese leader agreed to talks in Addis Ababa.

Kerry telephoned Machar on his return to the Ethiopian capital to brief him on his visit to Juba and to urge him to engage in "meaningful political dialogue." It is unclear whether the rebel leader agreed to take part.

If those talks happen, Human Rights Watch deputy Washington director Sarah Margon said there must be a greater focus on protecting civilians.
 
"It's not going to just be a political negotiation in Addis detached from what's happening on the ground," Margoni said. "Obviously the fighting is going on.  And we need to think collectively about how they fight, what the role of civilians are, which obviously should not be stuck in the middle of any fighting."
 
Kerry said the United States is working with regional leaders and the African Union to get as many as 2,500 African troops to South Sudan "as rapidly as possible" to separate combatants and protect civilians under a stronger United Nations mandate.
 
The Obama administration also has in place a mechanism for sanctions against those responsible for the violence.

But a travel ban and assets freeze would be far more effective if joined by neighboring Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, which Kerry said Thursday "accepted the responsibility for also doing sanctions."
 
While in the South Sudanese capital, Kerry also met with civil society leaders, U.N. officials, and representatives of those displaced by the fighting.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Charles Onyango from: Kenya
May 03, 2014 11:23 AM
Good Work Mr.John Kerry.The Two Leaders Must Mostly Focus On How To Protect The South Sudanese Civilians In Their Talks.


by: ali bab from: new york
May 02, 2014 2:16 PM
too little . too late . the whole world ignore the people of south Sudan whom are victim of genocide committed by northern part of the country .the genocide killed million of people and left faction whom are fighting for power .they do have oil .but they do not the management skill to develop the country

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid