News / Africa

S. Sudan President Willing to Hold Talks with Rival

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir gestures during a news conference in Juba, Dec. 18, 2013.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir gestures during a news conference in Juba, Dec. 18, 2013.
VOA NewsMargaret Besheer
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir says he is willing to hold talks with the former vice president he accuses of leading a coup attempt against him.

The U.N. estimates that up to 500 people have been killed in four days of fighting in South Sudan.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed Kiir’s statement that he is open to dialogue with opposition leader Riek Machar in order to end deadly fighting that erupted on Sunday.

“I spoke to President Salva Kiir yesterday morning, urging him to do everything possible he can to end the violence and to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law," Ban told reporters. "I also impressed on him the need to resume dialogue with the political opposition. I welcome the reports this morning that President Salva Kiir is willing to enter into such talks.”

The U.N. chief said the U.N. mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, is working to protect and assist some 20,0000 civilians who have fled the outbreak of violence in the capital, Juba, and have sought shelter at two U.N. compounds there.

UNMISS has also reported heavy fighting in the city of Bor, about 150 kilometers north of Juba, and says about 1,000 civilians have sought refuge at its compound there. Ban expressed concern about the spread of fighting.

"This is a political crisis, and urgently needs to be dealt with through political dialogue. There is a risk of this violence spreading to other States, and we have already seen some signs of this," he said.

The Sudan People's Liberation Army has called all soldiers to report to their general headquarters.

President Salva Kiir blames the alleged coup attempt on forces loyal to his former vice president, Riek Machar, who was was fired in July.

Observers have raised concerns a rift between Machar, from the Nuer ethnic group, and Mr. Kiir, a Dinka, could fuel tribal violence in South Sudan.

South Sudan's government said 10 people have been arrested for their alleged roles in the coup attempt. Machar remains at large.

Britain says it is withdrawing some embassy staff from South Sudan after the fighting spread to areas beyond the country's capital.

The British Foreign Office says its embassy in Juba, will remain open while some staff is withdrawn temporarily.

The U.N. mission in South Sudan has reported heavy fighting in the city of Bor, about 150 kilometers north of Juba.

There was also fighting overnight at a military base in Torit, southeast of the capital.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the people of South Sudan have sacrificed too much for their country to return to violence.

"Political differences need to be resolved by peaceful and democratic means and those have been hard fought for. The government should respect the rule of law and the people of South Sudan should be able to realize their full potential in peace," he said.

The U.S. State Department says it has evacuated three groups of U.S. citizens from South Sudan.

Ambassador Susan Page met Wednesday with President Kiir in Juba to discuss U.S. concern about the continued violence, increasing death toll, and growing humanitarian challenges.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Andrew oforma from: Nigeria
December 19, 2013 1:36 AM
This unabated violent is uncalled for. This is because only the none combatants (women and children ) are mostly bear the burnt. My position is that President Salva has to do what he can constitutionally to protect his country for turmoil, chaos etc.

by: JACKCITY TIMOTHY from: UPPER NILE STATE
December 18, 2013 2:40 PM
it is not good when people of s s are fighting among themselve let us build our new nation.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More