News / Africa

S. Sudan Talks Falter as Conflict Threatens to Spread

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar addresses news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 12, 2014.
South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar addresses news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 12, 2014.
Gabe Joselow

The latest round of peace talks between South Sudan's warring factions has come to a standstill, dimming hopes that a comprehensive deal could be reached this week.

South Sudan's government and the rebel opposition failed to meet for scheduled talks in Addis Ababa Thursday, apparently because of opposition complaints about the negotiation process.

The two sides have committed to peace talks to end a conflict that began in mid-December when a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his main rival Riek Machar turned violent.

Disagreements

But the opposition team has declined to participate in the discussions during the past two days, saying it wants to talk directly about ending hostilities before discussing political reforms. A previous agreement had called for the two sides to form a transitional government by an August 10 deadline, now just a few days away.

“For the government, we believe that we cannot bring peace without the rebels," said South Sudan Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth, explaining that Juba cannot forge any new deal without the willing involvement of the opposition. "So we're here to negotiate peace and whatever time it takes, as long as the rebels accept to sit with us [at] the table we are capable of bringing peace.”

This is the fifth time since the conflict broke out the two sides have engaged in peace negotiations mediated by the East African regional group IGAD. Three previous cease-fire deals collapsed soon after signing, with each side blaming the other for violating the agreements.

Conflict could spread

Meanwhile, recent reports of violence near the border with Sudan have raised concerns that the conflict could soon expand.

The United Nations says at least five aid workers were killed Monday by a militia in Maban county of Upper Nile state.

The Nuba Reports media outlet, which focuses on the region, reports South Sudanese rebel forces loyal to Riek Machar have also been spotted near the border.

Ryan Boyette, Nuba Reports Executive Director, says that while details are difficult to confirm, it is believed that the opposition is in Maban to receive weapons from Sudan.

“There's no strategy for the [Sudan People's Liberation Movement] in opposition to be that close to the border near that location except to cross the border to get arms or to get supplies.”

South Sudan's government has long accused the rebels of receiving support from Khartoum, a charge the opposition has denied.

Refugees

Any increase in fighting along the Sudan-South Sudan border would put at risk some 125,000 Sudanese refugees living in South Sudan territory, having fled violence in Sudan's Blue Nile State.

Sudan's military also regularly targets rebel groups in the area that fought against Khartoum during the civil war that eventually led to South Sudan's independence in 2011.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lisa from: Tx
August 07, 2014 1:50 PM
Thanks voice of American, for keeping us informed about south Sudan. Some days ago i did said the government will blame the opposition. It might not be clear if the rebel forces are under Dr riek. We all know south Sudan forces are in that areas and also they are hunting for army who refuse to fight the rebels. why do you think that the opposition will talk peace when aid workers are killed because of being nuer. The only way to stop the on going war is for kiir to call for emergency in the country and he should step down or call for election towords the end of year, if he really care about the people. He will be respect by the whole world. Even God might forgive him this time. May God bless my country and its people.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs