News / Africa

South Sudan Rebels Accuse Government of Breaking Cease-fire

South Sudan government representative Nhial Deng Nhial (L) exchanges a signed ceasefire agreement with rebel delegation leader Gen. Taban Deng Gai (R) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 23, 2014.
South Sudan government representative Nhial Deng Nhial (L) exchanges a signed ceasefire agreement with rebel delegation leader Gen. Taban Deng Gai (R) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 23, 2014.
Gabe Joselow
South Sudanese rebel forces say they were attacked Friday by government forces, one day after the two sides signed a cease-fire agreement to end weeks of fighting.  The deal is seen as just the beginning of a long, difficult process of reconciliation.
 
In a statement Friday, rebel military spokesman General Lul Ruai Koang said government forces attacked rebel positions in Unity State - a key oil-producing region - and in Jonglei State, north of the capital.
 
Koang said government troops were supported by JEM rebels from Sudan’s Darfur region in the attacks on Unity State, and by the Ugandan forces in Jonglei.
 
South Sudan’s army spokesman Philip Aguer said he had not heard any reports of fighting.
 
A day earlier, both sides in the conflict signed a cease-fire agreement in Addis Ababa that is set to take hold Friday evening.
 
2013
July 23: President Salva Kiir dismisses vice president Riek Machar, cabinet.
Dec. 15-16: Heavy gunfire erupts overnight near military barracks in Juba.
Dec. 16: President Kiir accuses soldiers loyal to Machar of attempted coup. Machar denies coup attempt.
Dec. 19: Rebels seize Bor, capital of Jonglei state. Bor exchanges hands several times in following weeks.
Late Dec.: Rebels seize capitals of Unity and Upper Nile state. Army recaptures them weeks later.

2014
Jan. 2: IGAD mediated peace talks open in Ethiopia.
Jan. 19: UN reports 580,000 people displaced from homes.
Jan. 23: IGAD announces two sides will sign cease-fire agreement.
The deal, mediated by officials from the East African group IGAD, aims to end fighting that erupted last month when a political rivalry between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar turned violent and divided factions of the armed forces.
 
In the past two weeks, South Sudan’s army has reclaimed key cities seized by rebel forces, putting pressure on the rebels to sign a deal.  
 
However it is not clear how much control Machar really has over these forces, which also include allied militia.
 
Rebecca Nyandeng, a political ally of Machar’s, told VOA Friday she is confident the anti-government forces will obey the cease-fire.
 
"What I believe is that all these people are under Dr. Riek, the fighting forces, and I think Dr. Riek will be able to talk with them," she said. "If we’re going to negotiate a settlement, then why should people continue fighting?”
 
Healing political divisions may be tricky. The fallout between Kiir and Machar also represents a split within the ruling SPLM party.
 
As the two sides prepare to engage in a reconciliation process outlined in a separate agreement signed Thursday, Nyandeng says they will seek to unify the SPLM rather than form an opposition party.
 
“We are not going to separate from anything.  We are SPLM and that’s why we wanted to sit and negotiate and now mend the fence and move forward,” she said.
 
Both sides have been accused of committing atrocities since fighting began, with reports of targeted ethnic killings, looting and attacks on U.N. bases.
 
Thousands are believed to have been killed, while an estimated 500,000 have been displaced.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid