News / Africa

S. Sudan: Opposition Leader Can't Make Ceasefire Hold

South Sudan's Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, poses for a photo after a cabinet meeting  in Juba January 17, 2014. South Sudan's Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, poses for a photo after a cabinet meeting in Juba January 17, 2014.
x
South Sudan's Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, poses for a photo after a cabinet meeting  in Juba January 17, 2014.
South Sudan's Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, poses for a photo after a cabinet meeting in Juba January 17, 2014.
Reuters
South Sudan's defense minister said on Friday thaat Riek Machar does not have enough control over fighters battling government forces to make any ceasefire hold, as peace talks dragged on with no sign of a deal.
 
Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk also told Reuters the two sides were still fighting over two strategic towns and said his government could ask Sudan for military help if the conflict in the world's newest nation threatened South Sudan's oilfields.
 
Sudan, from which the south split in 2011, relies on revenues from fees charged for use of its pipeline that carries South Sudan's oil exports to international markets.
 
Troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels backing Machar, the deputy he sacked in July, have been fighting since mid-December. The conflict has increasingly followed ethnic lines, pitting Kiir's Dinka group against the Nuer of Machar.
 
Juuk said Machar had used a spiritual leader, who he named as Dak Kueth, to stir up people to fight.
 
“(Machar) is not in control of these people. So even if a peace agreement is signed, or cessation of hostilities, these people who are not under the control of Machar will continue creating insecurity for the people and government,” he said.
 
“We cannot make a unilateral ceasefire because it is they (the rebels) who are attacking the civil population and government positions,” Juuk added.
 
The two sides are negotiating a ceasefire deal in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, but there has been no clear progress. Rebel demands include that Ugandan troops deployed in South Sudan stop supporting government forces in combat.
 
Sudan role
 
Uganda's military support of Kiir has raised worries that other regional players could be drawn into the conflict, in which a U.N. envoy said on Friday thousands had been killed and “mass atrocities” had been committed by both sides.
 
South Sudan has also asked Sudan for engineers to help maintain oil output which has slipped to about 200,000 barrels per day, from about 245,000 bpd before the fighting.
 
Asked if South Sudan would seek a joint security force with Sudan to protect fields, Juuk said: “Until now we have not asked the Sudan government to send in their forces.”
 
“Should there be a threat, anything threatening the oil field, definitely the government of South Sudan may ask the Sudan government to come in and support,” the minister said.
 
Juuk said the government was in control of Bentiu, the capital of oil producing Unity state, and that the two sides were still fighting over Malakal in another oil area and the flashpoint town of Bor.
 
All three places are north of South Sudan's capital Juba.
 
The rebels have acknowledged the loss of Bentiu but the fate of the other two towns has been unclear as fighting has raged.
 
International medical organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it was forced to suspend activities in Malakal following the looting of its compounds. It said fierce fighting had broken out in Malakal on Jan. 13.
 
Juuk shrugged off the rebels' criticism of the role of Ugandan troops in South Sudan.
 
“We have requested support from Uganda. It is not a new situation, countries seek support from other countries whenever they are in trouble,” he said.
 
U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic called on Friday for the speedy establishment of an independent, impartial fact-finding commission on the conflict.
 
“Clearly the crisis, which started as a political one, has now taken on an inter-ethnic dimension that urgently needs to be addressed,” he said after a four-day visit to the country.
 
“People on both sides are absolutely convinced that the other side is to blame, which makes the situation even more dangerous,” he said.
 
Simonovic said the United Nations would issue a report on human rights violations since fighting began on Dec. 15 and said the crimes included mass killings, extrajudicial killings, sexual violence and arbitrary detentions.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid