News / Africa

UN Security Council Considering South Sudan Sanctions

Slain bodies of civilians killed in renewed attacks lie along a road in Bentiu, Unity state of South Sudan, April 20, 2014.
Slain bodies of civilians killed in renewed attacks lie along a road in Bentiu, Unity state of South Sudan, April 20, 2014.
VOA News
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power is calling on the international community to sanction those in South Sudan who are targeting civilians or acting as "political spoilers."

Power joined an urgent U.N. Security Council meeting Wednesday on the situation in South Sudan. The diplomats viewed what Power called "horrific pictures" of a massacre last week in the town of Bentiu.

The U.N. Mission in South Sudan says rebels killed hundreds of people based on their nationality or ethnic origin after seizing control of Bentiu on April 15. Rebel spokesmen have denied carrying out the killings.

Power said on Twitter late Wednesday that the latest violence in South Sudan has brought the country to a "turning point" and that its government is inciting violence against peacekeepers.

France's U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud also said council members are considering taking action, writing on Twitter that France supports sanctions against those violating human rights. He said both sides in South Sudan's conflict are using a military approach and that there is no safe place for refugees.

The United Nations has nearly 8,500 peacekeepers in the country. It reported a "deadly and unprovoked" attack on its base in Bor last week by an armed mob that forced its way onto the compound and opened fire on civilians taking shelter.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said Wednesday that neither the South Sudan government nor rebels have shown real interest in taking part in peace talks to defuse the crisis that erupted in December. He also faults the government for not adequately protecting its people.

"The United Nations is doing everything it can to protect the civilians that are fleeing the violence, the war. But let us never forget that the primary responsibility for protecting civilians is with the government. We are there to support but it is the government of South Sudan to make it so that its citizens are not killed," said Ladsous.

He said the cycle of violence in South Sudan has to stop.

Ethnic violence and clashes between rebel and government forces in South Sudan have killed thousands of people in recent months. The U.N. refugee agency says the fighting has driven more than 1.1 million people from their homes.

Peace talks in Ethiopia have made little progress.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid