News / Africa

Mediators Face Delicate Task in S. Sudan Talks

S. Sudan Rebels Want Prisoners Released at Peace Talksi
X
January 03, 2014 6:26 AM
South Sudan's army continues to battle rebel forces, even as negotiators from the warring sides expect to begin talks Friday aimed at ending the violence that has pushed the world's newest country toward civil war.
Watch related video from VOA
Delegates for South Sudan's government and the rebels fighting to push it from power have opened talks aimed at ending nearly three weeks of violence. Some experts warn the situation will worsen if the East African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), continues to condemn the actions of the rebel group.

The representatives for South Sudan's government and the rebels have met separately in Addis Ababa with mediators trying to broker a cease-fire. As of Friday afternoon, the two delegations had not met face-to-face.

Jok Madut Jok of the Sudd Institute, an independent research organization in South Sudan, says the immediate cessation of hostilities is more important to the people of South Sudan now than political settlement.

“What people are waiting and hoping for right now in South Sudan is for the factions, these warring parties, to have [an] immediate cease-fire," he said. "That’s really most urgent as people are extremely desperate under the circumstances they find themselves now.”

The United Nations estimates that more than 1,000 people have been killed and around 200,000 displaced from their homes due to the ongoing clashes in South Sudan.

Away from the talks, fighting continues, with military clashes being reported around the rebel-held cities of Bor, in Jonglei state, and the Unity State capital, Bentiu.

Last week, the East African bloc IGAD urged both sides in the conflict to seize "the small window of opportunity" and begin peace talks.

The five nations in IGAD also warned the rebels led by former vice president Riek Machar that they will not accept the "unconstitutional overthrow" of South Sudan's government.

Jok says the regional mediators will find themselves in a delicate situation as they try to end the conflict.

“The East African grouping, the IGAD - on the one hand, they want to send signal to South Sudan and any other country in the region that the use of violence as the avenue to a political power must be and should be discouraged at all cost," he said. "And so they might be trying to condemn the former vice president for his action, but by doing so they risk pushing away into a kind of a civil war.”

  • Displaced people who fled the recent fighting between government and rebel forces in Bor by boat across the White Nile, prepare to sleep in the open in the town of Awerial, South Sudan, Jan. 1, 2014.
  • A young displaced boy rests on the wheel arch of a water truck while others fill containers from it, at a United Nations compound on the outskirts of Juba, the South Sudanese capital.
  • Yared, 2, is held by mother Madhn who fled from the town of Bor a few days ago, as she receives medicine for her child at a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical tent at a United Nations compound.
  • Displaced people gather under a mosquito net tent as they flee from fighting between the South Sudanese army and rebels in Bor town, 180 km (112 miles) northwest from capital Juba December 30, 2013.
  • A soldier from South Sudan's army stands guard in Malakal in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • A young displaced girl carries a bucket of water back to her makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound which has become home to thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, in the Jebel area on the outskirts of Juba.
  • The U.N.'s top humanitarian official in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, assesses the situation at the U.N. compound where many displaced have sought shelter in Bentiu, Unity state, South Sudan, Dec. 24, 2013. (UNMISS)
  • A pirogue packed with passengers arrives at a dock after crossing a waterway near the town of Malakal, seen from an airplane over South Sudan, Dec. 30, 2013.
  • U.N.'s top humanitarian official in the country Toby Lanzer, left, makes a visit to assess the humanitarian situation at the U.N. compound where many displaced have sought shelter in Bentiu, in oil-rich Unity state, in South Sudan, Dec. 24, 2013.

Bloodshed in the world's newest country erupted when renegade soldiers attacked a South Sudanese army headquarters on December 15. President Kiir accused former vice president Machar of a coup attempt.

The violence split the country along ethnic lines, with supporters of Mr. Kiir, a member of the Dinka tribe, and supporters of Machar, from the Nuer tribe, targeting each other.

Meanwhile, the U.S. embassy in Juba has ordered the evacuation of more staff due to the "deteriorating security situation" in South Sudan.

An embassy statement urged all U.S. citizens to leave and promised the State Department would arrange an evacuation flight Friday.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Both Tongyik Chan from: Ethioipia
January 06, 2014 7:01 AM
Kiir emerged to power without the concern of citizens, people who know his character. General Mayar is bad physically, mentally, emotionally. if these thing lacking according to leadership theory, an individual can not be allowed to lead people. I observed My brother Kiir, sitting with leaders having good background,posture,peace,and equality in their leadership style, while destroying his home. I would feel boring, I were my brother Kiir. since earth and heaven still existing, My brother Kiir ! you will not lead the south sudan.

by: Bol from: Bor
January 04, 2014 9:54 PM
So Mr Jok Madut is insinuating that his friend Riek Machar actions won't be entirely condemned by the IGAD members as they did, but to praise his actions?

Gosh ! these are the intellectuals the West produced for South Sudan? If this is the stand of this so-called intellectual; then Jok Madut also belongs in jail like the other coup plotters like Pagan Amum and other US cloned who think they can now do thing differently.

When in fact they all failed South Sudanese. Jok Madut himself is even worse than Kiir, who do not have the level of formal education Jok Madut has.

But when he was in the same Kiir's government line-up, as so do many thieves who are currently leading the rebellion, What did Jok Madut achieved or did differently under his last assignment?

All of them who are currently claiming that others are good guys and others are bad guys, are same people who rowed the same boat they are now claiming to be sinking right after they were sacked by their boss.

South Sudanese would be fools if they would ever again want to trust any of these people who now pretending to be the good guys while painting others the bad guys; they are all bad guys as far we know. They are only after power, not after South Sudanese interests.

Unless we hear from somebody who was not part of the same rotten system that has badly failed South Sudanese; then the chameleons like Jok Madut should just give South Sudanese a break, for he isn't any different from the thieves who are now being touted by their US bosses that they will rule South Sudanese again.

Something many clear seeing South Sudanese would not buy comes 2015.

by: Deng madingbor from: Bortown
January 04, 2014 9:47 PM
my information to everybody
I went to ethiopia and the cause of the problems were crimals who are killing still civils if they not stopping this now, we will inform to stopping their not
To distory our flag of south
Sudan.i donot like the words
Of arab said that,we can not
Rule ourselves,we arenot allowance
Never happen to us,president and those
Members who are confusing young
We arenot giving up because we
Were child when we left home
They kill people alway for their benefit
We will take care of this situation.i praise
That people consider that time
Our indenpent the wrongs tallest building must be burn down.they more
People who donot know our suffered in
Ethiopia getting check and our
Names are missing we needs our
Lists now,and thanks and that way
Win this war.i need to interview
because i was suffered.my parenr
Were by riek in 1991 and i was
In pochalla i disagree with those
Who went for peace with crimak
Riek machar.we need him for cr
Crimal court, we have rule in si
South sudan




Willbe burn down


by: Both Tongyik Chan from: Ethiopia
January 04, 2014 11:09 AM
KIIR FAILED TO LEAD THE COUNTRY DUE TO LACK OF DECISION MAKING CAPACITY. MANY PROBLEM WILL HAPPENED BECAUSE HE DON'T KNOW TO DIFFERENTIATE A MILITARY RULING SYSTEM AND PRESIDENTIAL RULING. TO WORK IN YOUR MAM LAND WITH WHAT SO CALLED DEGREE/OR OFFICIAL ORDER IS BORING. THIS TIME IS A TIME OF CIVIL SOCIETY TO MAKE NOISE.

by: lino garang from: USA
January 03, 2014 8:07 PM
For my opinion, This devil Riek Machar will not live in south Sudan for life.

by: Deng Barjok from: kampala
January 03, 2014 10:33 AM
why Dr riek machar is saying that he form rebel groups because of imbalance leadership of salva kiir and wat of 1991 wen he killed many innocent civilians in bor town was salvakiir a president of south sudan by that time please guys let him claim for negative though
In Response

by: Anonymous
January 04, 2014 2:40 PM
Dr riek machar is evil and will never lead South Sudan with that Nuer brain

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs