Tag Archives: Jonglei

Fighting intensifies in S. Sudan as faction leaders sit at luxury hotel

Displaced people walk to find an unoccupied patch of ground where they can rest after arriving by river barge from Bor, some of the thousands who fled the recent fighting between government and rebel forces in Bor by boat across the White Nile, in the town of Awerial, South Sudan, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.  Ben Curtis/AP

Nairobi, Kenya  In a sign of worsening violence in South Sudan — and despite the opening of peace talks Friday in Addis Ababa — the US State Department said it is pulling more embassy staff from the capital Juba.

The “further drawdown” of embassy staff is due to the “deteriorating security situation” in South Sudan, where the UN says over a thousand people have been killed in fewer than three weeks of fighting between rebels and government forces.

On Friday, representatives of President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar were staying at the same luxury hotel in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, but the delegations had not begun to negotiate directly and are reportedly still working through intermediaries.

Meanwhile, despite expectations last week of a truce, fighting in South Sudan continues as the two main groups try to seize territory and resources to improve bargaining positions.  Read more…

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S. Sudan factions agree to talk, while guns still bark

Nairobi, Kenya  South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar and the nation’s president Salva Kiir have agreed to negotiate after two weeks of bitter fighting that has brought the world’s newest nation to the brink of an extended civil war.

Yet fighting is apparently continuing as government forces under Mr. Kiir were engaged at least up to a deadline designed to trigger military intervention by neighboring African states, backed by the international community.

Forces loyal to Mr. Machar, the former vice-president, have been trying to take the town of Bor, a regional capitol and lucrative center of oil production, as strategic leverage.  Read more…