News / Africa

Clashes Reported in South Sudan Oil State As Peace Talks Resume

Fresh fighting is reported near Malakal in South Sudan's oil-producing Upper Nile state, even as the warring sides gather in Addis Ababa for round two of peace talks.
Fresh fighting is reported near Malakal in South Sudan's oil-producing Upper Nile state, even as the warring sides gather in Addis Ababa for round two of peace talks.
Andrew Green
Officials in South Sudan's largest oil-producing state, Upper Nile, said Thursday that clashes are continuing in parts of the state between pro- and anti-government forces, with reports saying scores of fighters have been killed.

Upper Nile Information Minister Philip Jiben Ogai said he had received reports that 82 anti-government fighters were killed and more than 100 wounded in the clashes.

He was unable to report on fatalities or injuries among the pro-government Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), but said they had driven the rebels back to a remote part of northern Jonglei state.

“The situation is under control. Even the oil field is all right," Ogai said. The bulk of South Sudan's oil, which is the backbone of the young country's economy, is produced in Upper Nile state, with the remainder coming from Unity state.

Ogai blamed the anti-government forces for starting the unrest near Malakal and violating the cessation of hostilities agreement signed on January 23.

But a spokesman for the opposition forces, Lul Ruai Koang, laid the blame for the clashes with the SPLA.

Koang also said the pro-government side had vastly inflated the death toll in the fighting, adding that reports he had received said fewer than 10 people were killed in the clashes.

The new outbreak of violence in Upper Nile came as the two sides in South Sudan's conflict gathered in Addis Ababa for a second round of talks to establish a political dialogue and foster national reconciliation in the young country, where some 900,000 people have been displaced from their homes and thousands killed since violence erupted in mid-December.

"The government is not even ready to give this second round a very conducive environment,” Koang said. 

The fighting in Upper Nile is just the latest breach of the three-week-old cessation of hostilities agreement. Fierce fighting has also been reported in Leer in Unity state, and at least 32 civilians were reported to have been killed last week in an attack on a village near the Jonglei state capital, Bor. Both sides have traded accusations over who was responsible for starting the new clashes.

President Salva Kiir has blamed weeks of deadly  violence in South Sudan on a failed bid to oust him that he says was masterminded by former vice president Riek Machar and a dozen other senior figures in the ruling SPLM party, all of whom have denied the accusations.

Lucy Poni contributed to this report from Nairobi

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Counties Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
February 19, 2014 11:17 AM
AMERICANS keep on supporting the killers of innocent pple in africa soil secondly you are imposing gay marriage on africans which is against gods laws once you will not escaped gods punishment atall@

by: Nicholas from: Juba
February 14, 2014 12:52 PM
WHY AMERICA? If not so God must be crazy of creating Africans black with their many resouces ready to belooted by americans bycreating Revelions in african counries IthinkGod has become mad&deaf for notlooking into what americans are betraying this nation by supporting the Riek Machar's rebels however wedon't have power of creating revelion in american soil BUT one time one day God will do his best in American soil so that they experience power of lord .Secondly believed in americans but those are thieves they don't go to front line with his troops shame on both of you Americans and you Riek; now what next Riek's forces were defeated Americans didn't go to frontline Riek will end up in the bush like joseph kony & Americans will be loughing on you and that will be the end of your reletionship with americans and you will come your peole later you face the court of justic annd americans can't stand for you sorrowfull toyou@.

by: Nicholas from: Juba
February 14, 2014 10:06 AM
AMERICA in a big letters is is aheadache to our young nation. if im not mistaken america the super power is abig supporter of Riek Machars rebels America must be very careful

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs