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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

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