News / Africa

South Sudan Says Will Attack Rebel Stronghold if Ceasefire Rejected

South Sudan army soldiers stand next to a destroyed motorcycle near Bor Airport, northwest of capital Juba, Dec. 25, 2013.South Sudan army soldiers stand next to a destroyed motorcycle near Bor Airport, northwest of capital Juba, Dec. 25, 2013.
x
South Sudan army soldiers stand next to a destroyed motorcycle near Bor Airport, northwest of capital Juba, Dec. 25, 2013.
South Sudan army soldiers stand next to a destroyed motorcycle near Bor Airport, northwest of capital Juba, Dec. 25, 2013.
Reuters
South Sudan troops will attack the main stronghold of rebel forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar if the government's offer of a ceasefire is rejected, a senior minister said on Saturday.
 
The government offered an olive branch to the rebels on Friday, proposing a ceasefire and saying it would release eight of 11 senior politicians, widely seen to be Machar allies, arrested over an alleged coup plot against President Salva Kiir.
 
But Kiir's former deputy Machar reacted coolly to the truce offer, telling the BBC that any ceasefire needed to be credible and properly enforced for him to take it seriously.
 
“Until mechanisms for monitoring are established, when one says there is a unilateral ceasefire, there is no way that the other person would be confident that this is a commitment,” Machar said.
 
Information Minister Michael Makuei said government troops on Saturday morning pushed rebels out of the town of Mayom in Unity State and were ready to advance the 90 km (55 miles) to Bentiu, the last state capital held by Machar's forces.
 
“We will flush (Machar) out of Bentiu if he doesn't accept the cessation of hostilities,” Makuei told Reuters by phone from the capital Juba.
 
Fighting between rival groups of soldiers erupted in Juba on Dec. 15, then triggered clashes in half of South Sudan's 10 states - often along ethnic lines, between Machar's group, the Nuer, and Kiir's Dinka.
 
South Sudan, a nation the size of France and the world's newest state, has the third-largest reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa after Angola and Nigeria, according to BP, but remains one of the poorest countries on the continent.
 
At one point rebels loyal to Machar, who was sacked by Kiir in July, controlled Jonglei state capital Bor and occupied half of Malakal, the capital of the major oil producing Upper Nile state. They were pushed out of both towns this week.
 
Washington, other Western powers and regional governments, fearful of a civil war in a fragile region with notoriously porous borders, have tried to mediate.
 
Makuei said the ceasefire offer remains in place and that the government has done all it can to bring about peace talks to end the 14 day conflict in which more than 1,000 people have been killed.
 
“We released two (senior politicians) yesterday but he has not done anything,” Makuei said.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
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 Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
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 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 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.

VOA Blogs