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

    In a White House statement Saturday, Mr. Obama 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.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the South Sudan leaders Sunday to find a "political means" to address the conflict. He said the continued violence poses a "dangerous threat" to the future of the young country.



    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 soon.

    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 not clear.

    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.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.