News / Africa

    'Matter of Time' Before Army Retakes Bentiu, South Sudan Official Says

    A Sudanese man carries a bed past South Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) national army soldiers patroling the town of Bentiu following its capture, Jan. 12, 2014.
    A Sudanese man carries a bed past South Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) national army soldiers patroling the town of Bentiu following its capture, Jan. 12, 2014.
    Charlton Doki
    A South Sudan army spokesman said Tuesday it was "a matter of time" before government forces regain control of Bentiu and another town in Unity state that have fallen to rebel forces.

    "Unity state in general is a fighting area and it’s just a matter of time that the SPLA will re-establish control of Unity state or these areas of Bentiu and Mayom," said Colonel Philip Aguer, a spokesman for the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

    "Things will change soon,” he said.

    Forces opposed to the government of President Salva Kiir last week overran Bentiu, the capital of oil-producing Unity state, and on Monday said they captured the town of Mayom on the border with Warrap state.

    The U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Monday accused the rebels of singling out people who were hiding during the fighting in Bentiu and killing them based on their ethnicity or nationality.

    Aguer called what the rebels allegedly did "barbarism" and said the SPLA will do all it can to dislodge the rebels from areas they control.

    “The SPLA is mandated by the constitution to stop those acts of barbarism. And it’s just a matter of time that the SPLA will control the area,” Aguer said. He said the SPLA is still in control of Unity state's oil fields. 

    Rebels seek to shut down government oil production

    Rebels say they want to shut down crude production to prevent the government spending the country's largest source of revenue on weapons. 

    Lul Ruai Koang, an opposition spokesman, said anti-government troops have fanned out and captured several positions in Jonglei state, including the administrative headquarters of Duk county.

    Koang also accused government forces of destroying bridges and other infrastructure in Unity state to try to prevent the rebels advancing beyond Mayom and Bentiu.

    Aguer dismissed the allegation.

    "It’s the rebels that have intentions to blow up bridges. They want to cover up their activities,” he said.

    The recent increase in violence in Unity state has resulted in a sharp rise in the number of South Sudanese seeking shelter at U.N. facilities.

    Joe Contreras, the acting spokesman for UNMISS, said there were around 12,000 people sheltering at the base in Bentiu last week, compared to around 4,000 at the start of the month when South Sudan peace talks were put on hold.

    The talks are due to resume on Monday after a four-week break. The international community has warned that South Sudan is on the verge of famine if the fighting is not stopped immediately and aid allowed to get through to people in need.

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mario Manyuon from: Juba
    April 23, 2014 9:18 AM
    The solution to South Sudan's problem is that, every family should convince their young not to take against individual or a any group.

    by: Deng Tut from: Addis baba
    April 23, 2014 4:42 AM
    Greedy of power is a problem to whole African Nation and AU is not protecting the civilians but the leaders.
    South Sudan's conflict is a simple issue but the IGAD is making business on it and the Government has not intends to kill his people and the Rebels are for destruction to take us back in 18c.
    The government and Rebels are continues gambling on their usual business.
    God is looking at them.

    by: Human Eaters from: Juba
    April 23, 2014 4:34 AM
    The SPLA spokesman always saying that matter of time and everyday matter of time but Rebels don't says matter of time they just captured Towns without consider time.
    If the government is not able to provide security to people then it is good for government's leadership to resign instead of wasting resources and life of civilians .
    In Response

    by: Atak Atem from: U.S.A. IA
    April 23, 2014 2:48 PM
    is it not passive obedience to the Reik Machar's policy to those who are backers him ? I think what happened at Unite State was actually a good news to the rebel's backers. To me the Kiir administration must do something important to protect people. Kiir should not resign as other people said. What happened not only in south Sudan,but it happened everywhere for instance , Libya , Syria etc. but those leaders non of them resigned. And no one of these rebel or protests got full freedom or step down any their leaders what they needed since 2011.

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.