US pushing for South Sudan ceasefire talks

2013-12-31 10:21
John Kerry

John Kerry (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The United States is pushing to get rival South Sudanese leaders to the negotiating table and end two weeks of bloodshed, but the situation remains complicated, a US official said on Monday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has spoken almost every day over the past week with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir as well as sacked vice president Riek Machar in a bid to ease the tensions.

And special US envoy Donald Booth was on Monday in the capital, Juba, having spent Christmas in the region, trying "to finalise the details of a political dialogue, hopefully to arrange for negotiations to begin in the coming days," state department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said.

"But it's a very complicated, tenuous situation."

The world's youngest nation, which only won independence in 2011, plunged into chaos on 15 December when Kiir accused his former deputy of mounting a coup.

Bloodshed has swept across the nation, with fierce battles reported in strategic oil-producing areas and grim reports of massacres, rapes and killings.

So far the United States has evacuated more than 400 US officials and private citizens, and some 700 people from 27 other countries on board seven chartered flights and six military aircraft, Harf said.

Regional leaders at the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have set Tuesday as a deadline for face-to-face talks between Kiir and Machar.

But Machar has yet to agree to the dialogue.

Kerry has warned both sides that the US would cut off its vital aid lifeline to the country if there is any bid to seize power by force.

"South Sudanese leaders have a choice here. They can choose to end the violence. They can chose to work to resolve these tensions peacefully," Harf said.

"And now is the time for all of these leaders who have helped with this process of creating a new nation, to take the right steps and make the right decisions."

Read more on:    riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  us  |  south sudan  |  john kerry  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.