News / Africa

S. Sudan Peace Talks Stall Over Fate of Jailed Rebels

Head of the rebel delegation Taban Deng Gai, addresses journalists during South Sudan's negotiations in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 8, 2014.
Head of the rebel delegation Taban Deng Gai, addresses journalists during South Sudan's negotiations in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 8, 2014.
VOA News
Peace talks between rebels in South Sudan and the government appeared to have stalled late Wednesday, with rebels saying there will be no truce until President Salva Kiir reverses himself and frees 11 jailed pro-rebel leaders.

So far, President Kiir has refused to release the detainees, who were arrested last year for their alleged roles in a coup plot.  Earlier in the day, government delegates said they were ready to sign a truce "soon," but they did not elaborate.

The two sides are meeting face-to-face for the first time in Addis Ababa, as fierce battles rage in their nearby homeland.

A South Sudanese radio station, Radio Tamazuj said the town of Mayom in Unity State has been "destroyed" after two days of heavy fighting between army forces loyal to President Kiir and defectors who back the president's rival, Riek Machar.

Nearly a month of violence in South Sudan has killed more than 1,000 people and forced about 200,000 from their homes.

Ahead of Wednesday's stalemate, White House Senior Director for African Affairs Grant Harris spoke with VOA Sudan in Focus program.

"The key point is that it doesn't matter how the violence started. What matters now is to bring an end to the fighting and seeking successful political negotiations so that the country can get back on track in pursuing the development goals and the governance goals that were set out at its founding," said Harris.

The U.N. mission in South Sudan said Tuesday that most villages along the road from Mayom to nearby Pariyang appeared to be burned or looted.  U.N. humanitarian official Toby Lanzer said Wednesday he will go to Unity State to learn more.

South Sudan's unrest began December 15 when renegade soldiers attacked an army headquarters.  President Salva Kiir accused former vice president Riek Machar of a coup attempt.  Machar has called for the army to overthrow the president.

Witnesses say some of the violence is ethnically motivated, with supporters of Kiir, a member of the Dinka tribe, and supporters of Machar, from the Nuer tribe, targeting each other.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid