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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid