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

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs