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 Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid