News / Africa

Kerry Warns of Genocide Risk in South Sudan

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds a news conference in Addis Ababa, May 1, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds a news conference in Addis Ababa, May 1, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is warning of the risk of genocide in South Sudan if four months of deadly fighting there is not stopped. Kerry on Thursday discussed the violence with regional foreign ministers and African Union officials in Addis Ababa.
 
 Kerry says those responsible for what he calls "unspeakable violence" in South Sudan must be brought to justice to prevent the conflict from deteriorating further.
 
"There are very disturbing leading indicators of the kind of ethnic, tribal, targeted, nationalistic killings taking place that raise serious questions, and were they to continue in the way that they have been going could really present a very serious challenge to the international community with respect to the question of genocide," he said.


 
John Kerry (2nd L) participates in a meeting with Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom (2nd R), Kenyan FM Amina Mohamed (3rd R) and Ugandan FM Sam Kutesa (R) in Addis Ababa, May 1.John Kerry (2nd L) participates in a meeting with Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom (2nd R), Kenyan FM Amina Mohamed (3rd R) and Ugandan FM Sam Kutesa (R) in Addis Ababa, May 1.
x
John Kerry (2nd L) participates in a meeting with Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom (2nd R), Kenyan FM Amina Mohamed (3rd R) and Ugandan FM Sam Kutesa (R) in Addis Ababa, May 1.
John Kerry (2nd L) participates in a meeting with Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom (2nd R), Kenyan FM Amina Mohamed (3rd R) and Ugandan FM Sam Kutesa (R) in Addis Ababa, May 1.
The secretary of state says he is working with regional leaders to avoid that by moving "to put people on the ground who can begin to make a difference" separating people and providing security.  

He met here in Addis Ababa with foreign ministers from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, who he says all agree on the need for African troops under a United Nations mandate.
 
He also pushed them to join U.S. moves toward a travel ban and assets freeze on those responsible for the violence but said Washington is "absolutely prepared" to move on its own.
 
"We may well move on our own," he said.  "But each of the foreign ministers today accepted the responsibility for also doing sanctions."
 
Kerry says some of the violence is the responsibility of individual generals with their own agenda, "but the place to start is the place where it started," and that is with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar.

 
South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar speaks to rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei State, Feb. 1, 2014.South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar speaks to rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei State, Feb. 1, 2014.
x
South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar speaks to rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei State, Feb. 1, 2014.
South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar speaks to rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei State, Feb. 1, 2014.
The most serious fighting began in late December, soon after the Kiir government accused Machar of trying to seize power.  While a senior State Department official says Washington does not "buy into the narrative of a coup attempt," Kerry says there is a clear distinction between the men whose "personal anger" is fueling this violence.
 
"The current president of South Sudan is the elected, constitutional president of a country.  And Mr. Machar is a rebel who is trying to unconstitutionally take power by force.  And there is a clear distinction.  There is no equivalency between the two," he said.
 
Kerry says Machar "needs to think clearly about that," particularly in the wake of allegations that ethnic Nuer rebels killed hundreds of civilians in the town of Bentiu last month.

A U.N. report said the rebels "separated individuals of certain nationalities and ethnic groups and escorted them to safety, while the others were killed."  A rebel spokesman has denied that allegation.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: James lwany from: South Sudan
May 02, 2014 1:38 AM
Is too late mr. Kerry. Let's died at all then you com to take the oil.


by: Gerald
May 02, 2014 1:30 AM
"Doesn't always do what is right for the people" is profoundly true, but a reality check throughout Africa shows major countries have failed to intervene, as it would necessitate fighting an "unpopular" war on another continent, involving conscription and ultimately the duration and withdrawal, apart from monetary costs, which would impact on their economy. The ICC pressure you refer to, is difficult to enforce, and words without action, well just look at some countries where "rulers" have escaped trial at the ICC and continue to do so.


by: Wilhelm from: Zambia
May 01, 2014 8:39 PM
I think right from the beginning or even before South Sudan became a state the administrative structures within SPLA were never democratic and this culture of intolerance to opposition was not only continued but got worse after independence, the west should not have been so naïve in thinking things would change. I think lessons should be learnt here i.e a liberation party is not the people and doesn't always do what is right for the people. Good Kerry has indeed brought out the threat of more mass killings and pointed out the culprits Kiir and Machar maybe the added pressure of having them brought before the ICC might cease the meaningless loss of life.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid