News / Africa

    US, Partners Push for Peace in South Sudan

    This picture released by the Kenya presidential service shows Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking during a press conference with the seven detainees released to his custody by South Sudan President after addressing a press conference at State House in Nairobi, Jan. 29, 2014.
    This picture released by the Kenya presidential service shows Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking during a press conference with the seven detainees released to his custody by South Sudan President after addressing a press conference at State House in Nairobi, Jan. 29, 2014.
    Marthe van der Wolf
    The international community is urging South Sudan's government to release the last four political detainees it arrested as the country erupted in violence last month.  The release would likely advance the peace process in South Sudan but that peace talks will continue even if the four men remain in custody.

    Envoys of the United States, Britain, Norway, China and the European Union met Thursday with the East African regional bloc IGAD, which has been mediating peace talks between South Sudan’s fighting factions.

    U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said South Sudan's release of seven political detainees on Wednesday should be followed by the release of the other four.

    “The recent step to release seven of the eleven persons detained by the government of South Sudan can be used to create momentum and a political process, and at the same time we continue to urge the release of the remaining four detainees,” he said.

    Two agreements were signed last week.  One called for a cessation of hostilities, while the other dealt with the eleven opposition members who have spent more than six weeks in detention.

    Burns said a full implementation of the agreements was needed as South Sudan cannot afford to miss this chance for peace.

    “The truth is South Sudan, both its people and its leaders, have an important moment of choice before them.  Whether to choose to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the Cessation of Hostilities agreement, and to build on it, and enduring to end the violence -- or to miss that opportunity and to allow mistrust and violence to overcome that chance,” he said.

    The cessation of hostilities was supposed to take effect last week Friday.  IGAD said the reports that fighting continued were not completely true and that the agreement was largely holding.

    The South Sudanese rebels want the detainees released so they can take part in the political phase of the peace talks, due to start in Ethiopia on February 7.

    IGAD’s lead mediator, Seyoum Mesfin, said that whether or not the last four detainees were released, the political talks would have to start.

    “There is no alternative to the peace process and dialogue, both parties recognize this and they have said this and agreed upon during the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement,” said Mesfin.

    Ministers of the IGAD countries will meet on the sidelines of the African Union summit Friday to outline the details for the political process.

    Clashes in South Sudan broke out mid-December, with army troops loyal to President Salva Kiir fighting anti-government forces.  

    The government accused Kiir's rival Riek Machar of leading a coup attempt, but it is not clear whether the rebels are united under Machar, who remains in hiding.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora