World News

    US Troops Wounded in South Sudan



    The U.S. military says unidentified gunmen have opened fire on U.S. aircraft flying in to a rebel-held area of South Sudan to evacuate American citizens. Four U.S. service personnel were reported wounded.

    The incident took place on Saturday as U.S. forces were trying to rescue Americans from the heavily-contested town of Bor, north of the capital, Juba. The mission was aborted and all three planes were diverted to neighboring Uganda.

    U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday sent 45 U.S. service personnel to the region on a mission he said is aimed at protecting U.S. personnel and the U.S. embassy.

    Mr. Obama, in a White House statement Saturday, stressed the importance of the U.S. evacuation mission and said South Sudan's leaders have a responsibility to assist the U.S. efforts.

    South Sudan's government says rebels have overrun Bor -- the scene of some of the country's worst fighting over the past week.



    The violence erupted after President Salva Kiir, a member of the Dinka tribe, accused former vice president Riek Machar, a Nuer, of attempting a coup. The Juba government says more than 500 people have been killed, and the unrest has forced tens of thousands of people to flee from their homes.

    VOA's Hanna McNeish describes the scene in Juba.



    "There is still a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in place and there are military tanks and 'technicals' [armored vehicles] and a lot of men with guns sitting on every street corner. But it is nothing compared to the situation outside the capital. We've got fighting in Jonglei state, where rebels have taken over the state capital, Bor. We've also got heavy fighting, apparently, in Unity state, where the oil fields and rebels are battling government forces for control of these."



    McNeish says many people that she has spoken to fear that what started as a political power struggle is turning into a deeply ethnic conflict. She says one of the most stunning scenes in Juba is the capital's crowded airport.



    "Seeing hundreds of people trying to leave by charter flight or by any means possible, even with a single bag, because they are so worried that this violence has just spiraled out of control already and they don't trust that the government of South Sudan can protect them any longer."





    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he is sending a special envoy to South Sudan to encourage talks between opposing factions. Ambassador Donald Booth is heading to the region as soon as possible.

    The U.N. Security Council president said Friday that South Sudan's President Kiir and former vice president Machar have agreed to "unconditional dialogue" despite their recent history of bitter recriminations. Mediators from East African countries met with Mr. Kiir Friday in what they called productive talks, but what form the Kiir-Machar "dialogue" will take is unclear.

    On Friday, the U.N. said at least 11 civilians and two peacekeepers had been killed in an attack a day earlier on a U.N. base in the town of Akobo.

    The U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says the peacekeepers and civilians were shot after about 2,000 armed youth, believed to be ethnic Nuers, surrounded the base and opened fire on members of the Dinka ethnic group taking shelter at the U.N. compound.

    About 35,000 civilians are believed to have fled to U.N. compounds since the latest unrest began.

    South Sudan is is the world's newest country, gaining its independence from Sudan in 2011.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    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 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 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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora