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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs