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US Continues Push for South Sudan Talks, Threatens Sanctions

Foreign Minister Georges Rebelo Chicoti (R) of Angola with US Secretary of State John Kerry speak to the media following meetings at the Ministry of Finance in Luanda, Angola, May 5, 2014.
Foreign Minister Georges Rebelo Chicoti (R) of Angola with US Secretary of State John Kerry speak to the media following meetings at the Ministry of Finance in Luanda, Angola, May 5, 2014.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has warned of sanctions and other possible "consequences" if South Sudan's government and rebel forces do not commit to talks aimed at ending nearly five months of civil war.

Kerry, who spoke in the Angolan capital of Luanda Monday on the final leg of his African tour, had last week secured a commitment to talks from South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.
South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar speaks to rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei State, Feb. 1, 2014.South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar speaks to rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei State, Feb. 1, 2014.
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South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar speaks to rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei State, Feb. 1, 2014.
South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar speaks to rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei State, Feb. 1, 2014.
Kerry said rebel leader Riek Machar has a "fundamental decision" to make in the way he proceeds, adding that there will be accountability and implications for those who block these efforts.

VOA reporter Scott Stearns, traveling with Kerry, reported Machar now is backtracking after initially seeming open to the talks in a telephone call with the secretary of state.

"Since that telephone call, Machar has told reporters that he sees no point in a meeting, or having any talks, about a transitional government that he believes could not be possible before a new election," Said Stearns.

Kerry says despite Machar's recent comments, he believes the rebel leader has not rejected the talks outright.  

The South Sudanese army battled Machar's rebels in the key oil town of Bentiu on Monday. The town fell into rebel hands last month.  

The United Nations says a stray bullet from the fighting in Bentiu hit and killed a four-year-old child at the U.N. base in the town. More than 20,000 civilians are being protected at the base.

The United Nations has accused rebels of killing hundreds of people in Bentiu, based on their nationality or ethnic origin. The rebels have denied carrying out the killings.

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said there has also been fighting in recent days in Nasir, in the Upper Nile region, and a skirmish in the capital, Juba, between supporters of both sides, which U.N. troops broke up with tear gas.

The rebels and government signed a cease-fire agreement in January but fighting has continued.  

Months of violence across several South Sudanese towns has led to thousands of deaths and driven more than 1.1 million people from their homes. Tens of thousands are sheltering in U.N. bases throughout the country.

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Comments
     
by: Bol from: Bor
May 05, 2014 9:34 PM
Who appointed the US as the world police man? l have researched this, but there is clause in the international law that says the US is world's policeman, let alone South Sudan!

The idea that the helped South Sudan's get its independence is very naive at best. In fact the US is a South Sudan's monster.

In 1990th, when the SPLA captured the whole of South Sudan in some parts of Blue Nile by force from the arab North Sudan, the US and Britain sponsored the same Riek Machar, they are again sponsoring to day to wage a senseless war against the South Sudanese people to undo what the South Sudanese people have fought for.

The US is an opportunist and a monster. The hatred the US has planted into some South Sudanese hearts in this war is very bitter and the US should know what hatred means.

Any white American coming to South Sudan should think twice, they created enemies and they must pay.

The treat South Sudan as if it is its 51st state and South Sudanese as if we are the US subjects. We fought arabs because we don't want any white skin people claiming to be our rulers and now the US imposing its self to be South Sudanese peoples ruler.

Yani! Who does the US thinks it is? But a terrorist and an evil empire South Sudanese are free thinking people and to be ruled by a terrorist and an evil empire is a very tall order!

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