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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid