South Sudan rivals urged to negotiate
U.S. calls on President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar to begin mediated political talks
South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his sacked vice president turned rebel leader Riek Machar must begin mediated political talks and “accept a cessation of hostilities,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged on Tuesday.
In a statement, Kerry called on both men to begin dialogue, following several clashes this week between Machar and Kiir’s forces.
Machar has this week said he is ready for talks and has formed a delegation, while Kiir has said he too is ready for talks “without preconditions,” in a meeting on Monday in Juba with U.S. special envoy Donald Booth.
Booth was still in the South Sudanese capital on Tuesday to “attempt to secure final commitment” from both men to begin talks, the State Department said.
“The United States urges all parties in the crisis in South Sudan to implement an immediate cessation of hostilities,” it said.
“This will offer critical humanitarian access to populations in dire need and open a space for a mediated political dialogue between the opposing sides.”
The United States has been very active on the diplomatic front as tensions have risen, with President Barack Obama making several statements, Kerry working the phones and Booth in the region.
Some 400 Americans have been evacuated from South Sudan, and the US military deployed a special Marine Corps unit and aircraft to the Horn of Africa to prepare for possible further evacuations.
On Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council voted to temporarily increase the U.N. peacekeeping force in conflict-torn South Sudan to 12,500 troops from 7,000, a nearly 80 percent increase.
The resolution adopted unanimously by the U.N.’s most powerful body will also increase the U.N.’s international police contingent from 900 to 1,323.
Thousands of South Sudanese have been killed in the violence, with reports of bodies piled in mass graves, the U.N. said Tuesday.
(With AFP and AP)
U.N. increases troops in South Sudan to 12,500The Security Council authorized the temporary transfer of troops, police and equipment from U.N. missions in Congo, Darfur, Abyei, Ivory Coast and Liberia Africa
South Sudan ‘army war crimes’ witnessedWitnesses say soldiers have carried out a massacre and a string of rapes and executions Africa
U.N.’s ban wants to reinforce mission in South SudanNearly 45,000 civilians are under U.N. protection at bases in the country Africa
South Sudan minister denies rebels control oil fieldsA rebel leader said on Monday that his forces were in control of major oil fields Business
South Sudan army ‘ready to assault Bor’The fighting has left hundreds dead and sent tens of thousands of people fleeing for protection in U.N. bases Africa
Obama threatens action in South SudanThe threat came after four U.S. servicemen were attacked in South Sudan Africa
Profile: Who is South Sudan’s Riek Machar?He was sacked as vice-president by Kiir in July in a cabinet purge aimed at political rivals Profiles
Brent oil hits 2-week high with South Sudan in focusBrent crude rose to a two-week high above $111 a barrel as internal strife in South Sudan threatened the country’s oil output Energy
U.N. evacuates non-critical staff in South SudanAt least 500 have been killed over six days of clashes between followers of both sides in the Juba, the capital of oil-rich South Sudan Africa