News / Africa

South Sudan Fighting Continues as Delegates Head to Peace Talks

A South Sudan army soldier stands next to a machine gun mounted on a truck in Malakal, capital of Upper Nile state, which an official says is controlled by forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar.
A South Sudan army soldier stands next to a machine gun mounted on a truck in Malakal, capital of Upper Nile state, which an official says is controlled by forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar.
Heavy fighting continued in South Sudan Tuesday as delegates for the two sides in the 16-day-old conflict began arriving in Ethiopia for peace talks, an ally of former Vice President Riek Machar said Tuesday.

"There is bombardment going on... Some of the areas that are controlled by Riek Machar are being bombarded and, as I speak to you, there is fighting going on in parts of Unity state," Hussein Mar Nyuot told a news conference in Nairobi.

"So far there is no ceasefire or cessation of hostilities," said Mar Nyuot, who up until he went over to Machar's side Tuesday was deputy governor of Jonglei state.

He said Jonglei, along with the two oil-producing states of Unity and Upper Nile, are under the control of forces loyal to Machar, who was accused by President Salva Kiir of mounting a failed coup on Dec. 15, triggering the violence that has spread across the country, displaced tens of thousands and claimed at least 1,000 lives.

Mar Nyuot said there was no coup attempt, and blamed the violence on a rift within the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) party.

"It's not a coup, not a plan to come to power through the back door. This is a crisis within the SPLM, the leading party in the  country, and these problems can be addressed by the same party,"  he said.

Machar was fired by Kiir in a sweeping cabinet reshuffle in July but remains the deputy chair of the SPLM.

'We are for mediation'


Mar Nyuot said Machar and his backers welcomed the efforts by regional African leaders to try to broker peace in South Sudan.

"We are for IGAD mediation, not against it. We are for peace," Mar Nyuot said, referring to the effort by the East African bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, to get both sides in the conflict to come to the negotiating table by Tuesday at the latest.

Rebecca Nyandeng, the widow of SPLM founder John Garang and herself a senior member of the party, arrived in Addis Ababa Tuesday for the peace talks. Mar Nyuot said Nyandeng, who has been a stern critic of Kiir, was named by Machar as one of his delegates for the negotiations.

Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti told VOA News that the host nation of the proposed peace talks was still waiting for other delegates to the talks to arrive.

10,000 Flee to Neighboring Countries: UNHCR


Commenting on an ultimatum given by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to Machar to agree to peace talks by Tuesday or

"Any conflict, any war in South Sudan, and these countries will be hurt," he said, referring to Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, which each took in thousands of refugees during the long civil war in Sudan which ended in 2005 with the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement, brokered by IGAD.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement released Tuesday in Geneva that 10,000 of the more than 180,000 South Sudanese who have fled their homes since fighting broke out on Dec.15 have sought refuge in neighboring countries.

"As of December 30, a total of 4,693 South Sudanese had arrived in Ethiopia, 3,563 in Uganda, 950 in Kenya and at least several hundred in Sudan," the U.N. refugee agency said, adding that the conflict has "spread to seven of South Sudan's 10 states."

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.
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