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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs