News / Africa

S. Sudan Rebel Leader: 'Not Close' to Peace Deal

FILE - A July 26, 2013 photo shows former South Sudan VP Riek Machar speaking to the media to announce he will run for the presidency in 2015 against President Salva Kiir.
FILE - A July 26, 2013 photo shows former South Sudan VP Riek Machar speaking to the media to announce he will run for the presidency in 2015 against President Salva Kiir.
Gabe Joselow
South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar says his side is no closer to agreeing to a peace deal following his meeting Saturday with African mediators. 

Mediators from the East African regional group IGAD met with Machar in an undisclosed location in South Sudan.

Speaking to VOA by phone Sunday, Machar doused hopes for a negotiated settlement to end nearly a month of fighting.

He said the main sticking points are the continued detention of 11 opposition politicians who were arrested in the first few days of the crisis, as well as reports of Ugandan military support for South Sudan government forces.

“I think that we were not closer to a deal because apparently they have played down the importance of releasing the political detainees and also they have played down the importance of the fact that there is an invasion from Uganda of South Sudan,” he said.

Following meetings last week with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and the political detainees, IGAD envoys said the detainees stated that their status “should not be an impediment to reaching an agreement.”

Registered Refugees in South SudanRegistered Refugees in South Sudan
x
Registered Refugees in South Sudan
Registered Refugees in South Sudan
Uganda also denies allegations of military involvement in the conflict and says its troops are only in the country to protect Ugandan civilians.

A South Sudanese government officials said the IGAD mediators have returned to Addis Ababa where peace talks are to take place.

Machar said his team will stay engaged in negotiations in the Ethiopian capital with the aim of ending the violence.

“I’m interested in cessation of hostilities, after all I’m the underdog in the matter. Who would be interested more in cessation of hostilities?” he said.

Government troops have reclaimed territory seized by rebel factions of the armed forces in Unity State, and are closing in on a key opposition stronghold in Bor, capital of Jonglei state.

Fighting began in the capital, Juba, on December 15 when an ongoing political power struggle between President Kiir and Machar, his former vice president, escalated into a violent confrontation between security forces.

The United Nations says nearly 400,000 people have been displaced by the fighting, which has split factions of the military and has provoked inter-ethnic killings.

Related video by Gabe Joselow:
South Sudan’s Displaced: Running from Violence, Longing for Peacei
X
January 12, 2014 8:09 PM
Violence has displaced hundreds of thousands of people across South Sudan, many of whom have taken refuge at United Nations bases across the country. VOA correspondent Gabe Joselow reports from a camp in the capital, Juba.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs