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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid