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.
South Sudan's army has clashed with the "White Army" ethnic militia, a spokesman has said, accusing rebels of mobilising the force despite the offer of a truce to end the conflict in the country. The White Army - made up largely of Nuer youths who dust their bodies with ash to protect themselves against insects - clashed with government troops near the town of Bor five days after rebels were driven out, army spokesman Philip Aguer said on Sunday.
Rebels in South Sudan have seized some oil wells and captured half of the capital of the main oil-producing region, the government and army said on Thursday as African leaders held talks to avert civil war. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn met South Sudan's President Salva Kiir in the capital Juba in an attempt to end nearly two weeks of fighting in the world's newest state.
The Pentagon has announced it is sending 150 U.S. Marines to Africa, for a possible mission to evacuate Americans in South Sudan, where political and ethnic violence has claimed hundreds of lives and left hundreds of thousands homeless. NPR's Tom Bowman says the Marines are being sent from Spain to beef up the U.S. military presence at a base in Eastern Africa. Officials say they'll await orders and could head into South Sudan.
The United States says all members of the U.N. Security Council support a proposal to send 5,500 peacekeepers to South Sudan in order to protect civilians from worsening violence. The Security Council is due to vote Tuesday afternoon on a resolution to transfer troops from other U.N. missions in Africa following the proposal from U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon.
US President Barack Obama has warned South Sudan that Washington and its allies would cut aid to the country over any attempted military coup, amid growing fears of civil war. Obama also urged South Sudan's leaders to help protect US personnel and citizens in the conflict-ravaged country, after four US military service members were wounded when their aircraft were fired upon on Saturday during a mission to evacuate American citizens.
They were an unlikely pair to lead the world’s newest nation — from different tribal groups and different regions, having taken vastly different paths to power. President Salva Kiir, a field commander with little formal education, was known for his black cowboy hat. His vice president, Riek Machar, had earned a doctorate in Britain and preferred Western suits.
With cooler temperatures approaching, you might be in the market for a perfect wintertime vacation. Maybe someplace sunny and warm, unspoiled by tourists, with beautiful views and rich culture. To find all that, you might consider South Sudan. That's the suggestion from Sophie and Max Lovell-Hoare, authors of the Bradt Travel Guide to the young country.