News / Africa

Rebels Advancing on Flashpoint Town, South Sudan Says

South Sudan army soldiers stand next to a destroyed motorcycle near Bor Airport, northwest of capital Juba on December 25, 2013.
South Sudan army soldiers stand next to a destroyed motorcycle near Bor Airport, northwest of capital Juba on December 25, 2013.
VOA News
South Sudan's military says rebels are moving toward a flashpoint town, as hopes fade that a cease-fire deadline will be met.

Army spokesman Philip Aguer told reporters Monday that rebel troops are advancing on the Jonglei state capital of Bor. Reuters news agency quotes Aguer as saying that shootings have taken place just outside the town.

A spokesman for the U.N. mission in South Sudan, Joseph Contreras, says that the United Nations is extremely concerned about reports of large numbers of armed youth advancing toward Bor.

"We see their reported advance in the general direction of Bor as a very troubling development," Contreras said. "Armed youths of various ethnic backgrounds in Jonglei state have been at the center of much of the intercommunal fighting that has plagued South Sudan since the country became independent two and-a-half years ago.

Earlier Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said East African nations have warned South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar to sign a cease-fire deal or face action by regional nations.

Museveni, who met South Sudanese President Salva Kiir in South Sudan's capital, Juba, Monday, said Machar has been given four days to respond to the offer.

"We gave Riek Machar some four days to respond and if he doesn't we shall have to go for him, all of, " said the Ugandan presidnet. "That is what we agreed in Nairobi.''

Regional leaders are pressing for face-to-face talks between Kiir and Machar, his deposed vice president, by December 31.

Uganda says it has troops stationed at Juba's international airport tasked with "facilitating evacuation of civilians," but United Nations workers in the city say the forces are more widely deployed. Mr. Museveni and Mr. Kiir are strong allies.

The United Nations says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Kiir Monday and welcomed the president's commitment to a cease-fire. He also urged Kiir to consider the early release of political prisoners.

The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said Monday tens of thousands of South Sudanese have fled Bor since violence broke out there last week between government troops and the Machar-backed force, known as the "White Army."

White Army youths are known for the white powder they use to cover their skin as an insect repellant. Like Machar, they are ethnic Nuers while President Kiir and his loyalists are ethnic Dinka.

The tribal violence erupted earlier this month, when the president accused Machar of attempting a coup. The United Nations says the fighting has left more than 1,000 people dead and displaced tens of thousands.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: oturo from: Naks
December 30, 2013 11:43 AM
South Sudan's issue needs be handled with a lot of care. It is a replica of Kenya in early 80s. Worst is to supervise it to Kenya of 1990's. It is nothing but 'killing of the learned.' Consequence is retrogression in development. Proposed solution is open and sincere listening to Machar and other learned fellows in that country, cautious involvement of those who were in Kenyan leadership in 1980s and above all stoppage of ethnic interpretation of situation in terms of Dinka&Nuer interests.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
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.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid