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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    Party's presumptive presidential nominee, her vice presidential pick deliver optimistic message in Florida as they campaign for first time together

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora