News / Africa

South Sudan Government Expects Ceasefire Deal Soon

Negotiators at South Sudan peace talks in Addis Ababa review a draft cessation of hostilities agreement on Jan. 13, 2014.
Negotiators at South Sudan peace talks in Addis Ababa review a draft cessation of hostilities agreement on Jan. 13, 2014.
Charlton Doki
The South Sudanese government said Wednesday it is hopeful that the two sides at peace talks in Addis Ababa are close to reaching a ceasefire agreement, even as fighting continues to rake the world's newest nation.

“I want to tell you that it will not be very long until a cessation of hostilities agreement is signed," Ateny Wek Ateny, a spokesman for President Salva Kiir, told reporters in Juba.

He said only two items "are left to be discussed" at the talks, which nearly two weeks ago brought teams of negotiators for Kiir and his political rival, former Vice President Riek Machar -- whom Kiir has accused of starting the unrest in South Sudan by trying to overthrow him -- to the Ethiopian capital.

"Those two items may be exhausted today, and if they are exhausted today, there will be no problem to see the two sides signing the cessation of hostilities," Ateny said.

Even as he spoke, fighting raged in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states, including in the town of Malakal, which rebels said they recaptured on Tuesday.

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders said hundreds of people have been wounded over the past few days in fighting in the three states, where the capital cities have become key battlegrounds in the month-long conflict.

Malakal, Bentiu in Unity state and Bor in Jonglei were captured by rebels early on in the conflict. Government troops recaptured Malakal at the end of December and last week took Bentiu back from rebels, saying their next target would be Bor.

Ateny denied that rebels have retaken control of Malakal in oil-rich Upper Nile state, and army spokesman Philip Aguer said fighting was continuing in the town.

South Sudan plunged into conflict on Dec. 15, when renegade soldiers attacked an army headquarters building in Juba.

Three children walk through a spontaneous camp for internally displaced persons at the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, Jan. 9, 2014.Three children walk through a spontaneous camp for internally displaced persons at the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, Jan. 9, 2014.
x
Three children walk through a spontaneous camp for internally displaced persons at the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, Jan. 9, 2014.
Three children walk through a spontaneous camp for internally displaced persons at the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, Jan. 9, 2014.
Although no precise death toll is available for the conflict, the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) this week said it believes up to 10,000 people may have been killed.

More than 400,000 South Sudanese civilians have been driven from their homes by the fighting, with most believed to be internally displaced in the country and nearly 80,000 fleeing to neighboring countries.

The peace talks for South Sudan resumed Monday after bogging down, largely over the government's refusal to consider one of the demands posed by negotiators for the opposition side, that 11 high-ranking political figures who were detained when fighting first erupted in Juba on Dec. 15 be released.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Khalam Sadit Tut from: Uganda
January 16, 2014 8:00 AM
NOW IT'S THE TIME TO FORM A TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION IN SOUTH SUDAN
The DINKA and the NUER CHIEFS, with the assistance from both the State and Federal Governments Must form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This would assist the South Sudanese communities (DINKAS, NUERS, etc) that have been wronged cope after the atrocities that have been committed against them. Since the commission would be open to the public, it would allow victims-or loved ones of the victims-the opportunity to "tell their story."

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