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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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