News / Africa

US Warns South Sudan Against Sliding Back into Violence

  • A tank patrols one of the main roads in the South Sudanese capital Juba, Dec. 16, 2013. The South Sudanese president declared a curfew in the capital Juba on Monday after clashes overnight between rival factions of soldiers.
  • South Sudan President Salva Kiir tells reporters at a news conference in Juba on Monday, December 16, 2013 that the government has "full control" of the situation in the capital after what he says was an overnight coup attempt.
  • US Special Envoy for South Sudan and Sudan Donald Booth (R), shown here with South Sudan in Focus host John Tanza, urged South Sudan on Monday not to fall back into violence, but refused to call the overnight unrest in Juba an attempted coup.
The United States is closely watching the situation in the South Sudanese capital where President Salva Kiir says his government has thwarted an attempted coup.
U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth on Monday urged South Sudan not to slide back into violence after clashes rocked Juba overnight, but refused to call the unrest in the capital an attempted coup.

"The situation remains unclear as to what exactly sparked the violence... We are not confirming a coup attempt yet," Booth told VOA News in an interview.

"We've been reaching out to numerous parties in Juba as well as others in the region to put together a picture of what exactly happened," Booth said, adding that "the new country cannot afford a slide back into violence." 

President Salva Kiir told a news conference earlier Monday that a group of soldiers allied to former Vice President Riek Machar, who was sacked in July by Kiir as part of a complete cabinet reshuffle, had launched an attack on army headquarters in Juba, plunging the capital into a night of violence.

His government had regained control as of Monday morning, Kiir said, even as witnesses reported hearing continuing gunfire and explosions in Juba.

The U.S. embassy issued a statement calling for all sides to settle their differences through "peaceful political means." It warned  U.S. citizens in South Sudan to remain indoors until calm has been restored.

Booth told VOA that embassy personnel in Juba are themselves sheltering in place "until they feel it's safe to move around the city."

Juba is under a dusk to dawn curfew until further notice and the international airport was closed in response to the violence. 

Although VOA reporters in other South Sudanese states said the situation there was calm, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf expressed concern that the violence could spread to other countries in the volatile region, and said Washington was continuing to monitor the situation.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said in a statement that hundreds of civilians, many of them women and children, have sought shelter at the U.N. compound near Juba's international airport and at U.N. House in the Jebel Kujur area of the city. 

In the statement, UNMISS also denied "any suggestion that the UN Mission is harboring any key political or military figures" as rumors circulated that Machar had sought refuge with the U.N. or with a foreign embassy.

Machar's whereabouts were unknown Monday, and VOA was unable to reach him or his spokesman for comment.

Since he was fired five months ago, Machar has been highly critical of Kiir, saying he has "dictatorial tendencies" and vowing to challenge him for the leadership of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) party ahead of general elections in 2015.

Booth told VOA News that the United States has been "concerned for awhile about the rising tensions between different factions of the SPLM" and said he called during recent visits to South Sudan for all sides to resolve any disputes they might have through dialogue, not violence.

 

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
December 17, 2013 6:39 AM
Us should pray for sudan not warn.No single country or president is happy when his country goes down with war.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid