News / Africa

South Sudan's Peace Talks Open

Members of South Sudan rebel delegation attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's negotiation in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 4, 2014.
Members of South Sudan rebel delegation attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's negotiation in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 4, 2014.
VOA News
South Sudan's warring factions have opened peace talks in Ethiopia, as violence continues in at least two regions of South Sudan, with government troops advancing on Bor, the rebel-held capital of Jonglei state.
 
Representatives for President Salva Kiir and ex-vice president Riek Machar took part in opening ceremonies for talks on Saturday.
 
Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti said the two sides would begin face-to-face negotiations in Addis Ababa on Sunday, following days of delays.

Mufti said several items would be high on the agenda.
 
"Definitely cease-fire will be on the top of agenda, then the issue of opening humanitarian corridors, the issue of releasing detainees and other issues," he said.
 
Mufti said negotiators were anxious to find a resolution to the fighting, which has left more than 1,000 people dead.
 
"All sides are feeling the need, the urgency, for a cease-fire and everything else," he said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that Washington would support those seeking peace, but would work for international pressure against those who used force to gain any advantage.  Kerry said negotiations must be serious - not a "gimmick."
 
South Sudan's unrest began in mid-December, when renegade soldiers attacked an army headquarters. President Kiir accused former vice president Machar of a coup attempt.
 
On Saturday, there were reports of heavy fighting near Bor, the rebel-held capital of Jonglei state, which government troops have launched an effort to reclaim.
 
Earlier, forces loyal to Machar said they were preparing to advance from Bor to the national capital, Juba. But in a Friday interview with Britain's Telegraph, Machar said his forces would hold back on attacking the capital in hopes of achieving a "negotiated settlement."
 
The French News Agency said explosions and automatic artillery fire rattled a government district in the capital on Saturday.
 
The talks in Ethiopia are being mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African regional bloc.

Story continues below photo gallery

  • Displaced people who fled the recent fighting between government and rebel forces in Bor by boat across the White Nile, prepare to sleep in the open in the town of Awerial, South Sudan, Jan. 1, 2014.
  • A young displaced boy rests on the wheel arch of a water truck while others fill containers from it, at a United Nations compound on the outskirts of Juba, the South Sudanese capital.
  • Yared, 2, is held by mother Madhn who fled from the town of Bor a few days ago, as she receives medicine for her child at a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical tent at a United Nations compound.
  • Displaced people gather under a mosquito net tent as they flee from fighting between the South Sudanese army and rebels in Bor town, 180 km (112 miles) northwest from capital Juba December 30, 2013.
  • A soldier from South Sudan's army stands guard in Malakal in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • A young displaced girl carries a bucket of water back to her makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound which has become home to thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, in the Jebel area on the outskirts of Juba.
  • The U.N.'s top humanitarian official in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, assesses the situation at the U.N. compound where many displaced have sought shelter in Bentiu, Unity state, South Sudan, Dec. 24, 2013. (UNMISS)
  • A pirogue packed with passengers arrives at a dock after crossing a waterway near the town of Malakal, seen from an airplane over South Sudan, Dec. 30, 2013.
  • U.N.'s top humanitarian official in the country Toby Lanzer, left, makes a visit to assess the humanitarian situation at the U.N. compound where many displaced have sought shelter in Bentiu, in oil-rich Unity state, in South Sudan, Dec. 24, 2013.

EU Horn of Africa representative Alexander Rondos, who is at the meeting, said the responsibility to find a solution to the conflict rested in the hands of South Sudan's political leadership.
 
"The leadership of South Sudan, the entire political leadership, needs to find a resolution," he said. "there are no alibis, only they can find that solution. And they must do everything to help the negotiators from IGAD to find that solution and very quickly," he said.
 
Machar said Wednesday that President Kiir was responsible for much of the unrest. He said peace could not be achieved under the president's leadership.
 
Witnesses said some of the violence was ethnically motivated, with supporters of Kiir, a member of the Dinka tribe, and supporters of Machar, from the Nuer tribe, targeting each other.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: edward kasumba from: uganda-kampala
January 05, 2014 2:25 PM
Of the two, machar riek and salva kirr.whoever can enforce respect and fear for law should rule southern sudan.


by: Joseph Effiong from: Calabar - nigeria
January 05, 2014 7:06 AM
Greedy and unsatisfied leaders. God have mercy on the poor, less privileged and the defenceless citizens - amen.


by: evans masibai from: kenya
January 05, 2014 12:47 AM
Machar and Kiir should remember that inocent people are the one perishing as well as suferring yet them are enjoying so they should see the need to restore peace so as to save the live of the people.


by: bahermod from: egypt
January 04, 2014 5:14 PM

Get Cash For Surveys

http://www.ii1ii.com/4u/908

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid