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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid