News / Africa

S. Sudan's Political Future Uncertain Ahead of Independence Day

FILE - U.N. peacekeepers are seen at an IDP (internally displaced persons) camp in the United Nations Mission In South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba May 6, 2014.
FILE - U.N. peacekeepers are seen at an IDP (internally displaced persons) camp in the United Nations Mission In South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba May 6, 2014.
Gabe Joselow

While it should be a time of celebration, South Sudan is limping towards its third anniversary on July 9.

Torn apart by a power dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar, the country has succumbed to inter-ethnic fighting between forces loyal to Kiir and rebels aligned with Machar.

The violence has left thousands dead and more than one million displaced.

In an effort to lift the country out of its downward spiral, the two leaders agreed in May to establish a “transitional government of national unity” and on June 10 set a 60-day deadline to form the interim government.

But talks between the two sides have once again broken down, due to opposition complaints about the exclusion of displaced people and groups in exile from the talks.

South Sudanese Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth told VOA the government is still waiting for instructions from the East African bloc of states, IGAD, which has been mediating talks.

“If we are called, we are optimistic we will reach peace and we will agree within the 60 days as scheduled,” he said.

As reconciliation efforts continue to falter, citizens are becoming impatient with the country's leadership.

A senior U.S. State Department official, David Feldstein, traveled to South Sudan this week on a mission to speak to civil society groups and organizations and hear their thoughts on a way forward.

Feldstein told VOA people are growing tired of both President Kiir and opposition leader Machar.

“The biggest frustration I think is the fact that a lot of people feel that their own futures have been hijacked by two people who don't necessarily have the country's future in mind, but are certainly concerned about their own self-interests,” he said.

Some observers have suggested that both President Kiir and Machar should be excluded from a transitional government, but both sides have ruled out that possibility.

Lueth said the president has to stay on to implement peace agreements.

“There's no way you would say 'let President Salva go' so the agreement is implemented by a third party who is not part and parcel with the whole thing,” he said.

Meanwhile, the country's humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate.  A group of British aid agencies warned this week that conflict, displacement and a lack of donor funds could push some populations into famine in the coming weeks.

You May Like

Amnesty: EU Failing Migrants, Refugees

Rights group says migrants, refugees subject to detention, extortion, beatings More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Eastern jikany from: juba
July 05, 2014 3:55 AM
our lives are in danger how long this war will come to an end ,our people are sufering indeed in a chaos situation for those who flew to nightbour states and those who are living in un camp inside s.sudan. we are not managed to reconcile ourselves to unite as a one nation. we the youth of s.sudan we failure to looks our own affairs and we failure also to raise our voices to public speeches .how long we are going to search an asistance from other countries to supporters in this conflicts last for almost seven months .let us see ways forward to solve our problem peaceful and united. i asure you from diferent direction to come togather and solve this senseless war that

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs