May 24, 2015 05:05 UTC

In the News

South Sudan Tells Soldiers to Stop Fighting

South Sudan soldiers in a vehicle in the capital Juba Dec. 20, 2013.
South Sudan soldiers in a vehicle in the capital Juba Dec. 20, 2013.

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story

From VOA Learning English, this is In the News.
 
The government of South Sudan has told its soldiers to stop fighting government opponents.  The move is part of an effort to end violence that began after a dispute between the country’s president and former vice-president.
 
The government’s announcement came after leaders of other countries in the area met to urge the two sides to stop the violence.  A spokesman for South Sudan’s Foreign Ministry told VOA on Friday that the government’s cease-fire will begin immediately.  It gave the government’s opponents three days to answer the call for a cease-fire.
 
Violence began in the capital Juba on December 15th and quickly spread across the country after a dispute between President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar -- his main political competitor.  In July, Mr. Kiir dismissed his cabinet, including Mr. Machar.  Tensions had been rising since then, but fighting began only when Mr. Kiir accused Mr. Machar of planning to overthrow the government.  Mr. Machar denied the claim.
 
The fighting surprised many observers.  From the time South Sudan became an independent country in 2011, many feared that the new country would be at war with Sudan, the country from which it won independence.  Instead, South Sudan is at war with itself.

x
The fighting has divided the military in some areas, and has increased ethnic tensions. Some members of President Kiir’s Dinka ethnic group have been fighting with Mr. Machar’s ethnic group -- the Nuer. 
 
The foreign ministry said government soldiers have taken control of Malakal -- the capital of Upper Nile state -- after days of fierce battles.
 
Leaders of East African countries meeting in Nairobi on Friday welcomed the South Sudanese government’s decision to end the fighting.  They called on Mr. Machar and others to do the same.

In this photo released by the Kenyan Presidential Press Service, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, speaks during the meeting on the situation in South Sudan, held at State House, Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. On the right is Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn (AP Photo/Kenyan Presidential Press Service)In this photo released by the Kenyan Presidential Press Service, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, speaks during the meeting on the situation in South Sudan, held at State House, Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. On the right is Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn (AP Photo/Kenyan Presidential Press Service)
x
In this photo released by the Kenyan Presidential Press Service, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, speaks during the meeting on the situation in South Sudan, held at State House, Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. On the right is Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn (AP Photo/Kenyan Presidential Press Service)
In this photo released by the Kenyan Presidential Press Service, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, speaks during the meeting on the situation in South Sudan, held at State House, Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. On the right is Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn (AP Photo/Kenyan Presidential Press Service)
Both Mr. Machar and Mr. Kiir have agreed to meet.  But the government has rejected Mr. Machar’s demands that the government release his supporters, who were jailed in the early days of the crisis.
 
At the meeting in Nairobi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the detained political leaders should be included in talks to end the crisis.
 
“The detainees are part of South Sudan’s leadership and as such are part of the solution.  South Sudan’s legal system must process them as it should while they are treated humanely and quickly enabled to be an integral part of the dialogue that will solve the underlying political problems that have brought us to this unfortunate crisis.”
 
Mr. Kenyatta also urged the African Union, the United Nations and other countries to promise more support for South Sudan.  And he said leaders of other East African nations would not accept what he called the “unconstitutional overthrow” of South Sudan’s democratically-elected government.    
 
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn says he supports Mr. Kiir.
 
“It should be underscored that the legitimate government of South Sudan under President Salva Kiir Mayardit is the duly elected representative of the people of South Sudan and it has every responsibility to restore peace and stability throughout the country.”

South Sudan army soldiers hold their weapons as they ride on a truck in Bor, Dec. 25, 2013.South Sudan army soldiers hold their weapons as they ride on a truck in Bor, Dec. 25, 2013.
x
South Sudan army soldiers hold their weapons as they ride on a truck in Bor, Dec. 25, 2013.
South Sudan army soldiers hold their weapons as they ride on a truck in Bor, Dec. 25, 2013.
The United Nations estimates more than 1,000 people have been killed in violence across the country since the middle of December.  It says more than 50,000 people have fled to UN bases.  The UN hopes to send more peacekeepers to the country within a few days.  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the crisis cannot be ended using troops.
 
East African leaders called on all sides in the conflict to meet before the end of the year.

And that’s In The News, from VOA Learning English.  I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.


Loading lesson...
This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Learn with The News

  • Pin Phunam a contortionist in Phare, The Cambodian Circus

    Video Cambodia Circus Offers a Better Life to Young Performers

    Many young people in Cambodia dream of joining the circus. For some needy and underprivileged youths some are given an opportunity at the Phare Ponleu Selpak school or PPS to learn circus skills that may help change their lives for the better. More

  • Team Grin plans to race to Alaska in this Etchells 22, currently moored in Port Townsend, Washington. (Tom Banse/VOA)

    Audio Sail, Row, Paddle, All The Way To Alaska

    In less than three weeks the first-ever Race to Alaska will be an exciting and challenging journey for anyone brave enough to enter with their non-motorized boat. One can only race by sailing, rowing, paddling, pedaling or a combination of those activities. More

  • Video Learning at the Laundromat

    College students teach mathematics and English to poor, immigrant children at a coin laundry near Washington, DC. At the same time, the students are helping the owner of the business become more profitable. The tutoring is part of the business plan they have created. | As It Is More

  • Audio Islamic State Militants Capture Two Major Cities

    The Islamic State seized control of the Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday. The fall of Palmyra reportedly left the militants in control of half of Syria. Last Sunday, the militants took control of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar Province.| In The News More

  • Fiery Cross Reef, Spratly Islands

    Audio China Warns US Spy Plane in South China Sea

    China's navy is reported to have issued eight warning messages to a U.S. military spy plane over several man-made islands. Boats with Rohingya migrants accepted in Indonesian waters. U.S. and Cuba continue talks toward diplomatic ties. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Hold Your Horses!

    Horses are part of the history and romance of the Old American West. These days, they are popular for sport and entertainment. So, it is easy to understand why we Americans use so many horse expressions. Learn some of the most common and try to answer our horse riddle! More

  • Audio Everyday Grammar - Introducing Conditionals

    In everyday conversation, English speakers often talk about things that are not true. Or, they talk about things that only happen if something else happens. Learn how to correctly use these conditional forms in English. If you write to us, we will let you know if it is correct. More

  • Discover Debate

    Audio Successful Debate for New Learners and Large Classes

    Many students of English engage in debate as part of their training. In Part Two of our Successful Debate series, we learn the kinds of debate topics that work well for English learners. An expert shares tips for organizing a debate in a large class and for answering arguments. More

  • Nina Marranca looks at her phone, June 25, 2013.

    Audio Deaf-Blind Woman First to Use Braille Phone

    New technology allows deaf and blind people to use the telephone. The tests are underway in Australia and the U.S. It could help end isolation that people who cannot see or hear say they feel. Learn about this exciting new technology as well as words like "Braille" and "parallel testing." More

  • Video Resounding Earth: Creating Music from Metal

    "The title “Resounding Earth” on the one hand, we are talking about resounding earth. The earth is full of metals that all of mankind has turned into instruments. We are going to play them from all around the world together on one stage." More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs