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.

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.


Kerry to promote peace, sanctions in South Sudan

30 April 2014, 12:54

Washington – US Secretary of State John Kerry is bringing his two main tools of diplomacy — peace talks and threatened sanctions — to Africa this week to help find a way to end months of killing that is threatening to rip apart the world's newest nation, South Sudan.

It's not yet clear whether the US will impose the sanctions while Kerry is in South Sudan — which, he said recently, he planned to visit during a week of stops that also include Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

US officials are still trying to persuade three of South Sudan's immediate neighbours to issue similar penalties against people on both sides of the brutal fighting.

A senior state department official travelling with Kerry said the US was still compiling its own list of individuals whose assets could be frozen and who could be banned from travel to the US. The official was not authorised to be identified by name while briefing reporters and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Kerry arrives in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Wednesday. While there, he will meet with African Union leaders to discuss a range of security issues confronting the sub-Saharan region, including South Sudan.

The US wants the AU to deploy peacekeeping forces to South Sudan, but that was still being negotiated, the state department official said.

New era

South Sudan has been rocked by violence since December, when President Salva Kiir accused former Vice President Riek Machar of staging a coup. The violence is taking on an increasingly ethnic dimension between Kiir's Dinka community and Machar's Nuer community.

The State Department has not provided additional details of Kerry's visit to South Sudan and usually does not disclose travels to high-threat conflict zones ahead of time for security reasons.

The trip gives Kerry a chance to help shepherd peace in a new area of the world after his nine-month quest to end decades-long tensions between Israel and Palestinian authorities fell flat. Kerry had hoped to at least put the Mideast on a path to peace, but a 29 April deadline to keep talks going passed this week with both sides as far apart as ever.

US sanctions have had slightly better, if mixed, success when deployed in recent days. Kerry and the rest of the Obama administration have imposed several rounds of economic sanctions and travel bans against dozens of Russian and former Ukrainian officials and businesses to punish Moscow, in the White House's view, for inciting unrest against the new pro-Western government in Kiev.

US officials have described the sanctions as pinching Russia, but so far they have not deterred President Vladimir Putin, who has amassed 40 000 troops on his border with Ukraine in what many fear is the first step to an invasion.

Potential of tensions

It's unclear how effective US sanctions would be in South Sudan without similar penalties imposed by Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.

Describing the fighting as an extension of a personal battle between Kiir and Machar, the State Department official said the US was well aware of the potential of tensions when the country broke off from Sudan after a 2011 referendum. But, the official said, few expected any fighting to happen so quickly or be so brutal.

The UN Security Council last week expressed "horror" at the recent massacre of several hundred civilians in the city of Bentiu by rebel fighters. It said council members may be willing to impose sanctions if attacks on civilians continue.

In a statement on Tuesday, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called Kiir and demanded assurances that militants who attacked the UN compound in the southern city of Bor and others behind the killings in Bentiu would be apprehended.

He also "called for an immediate halt to the vicious fighting and the appalling killing of South Sudanese civilians" and denounced the attack in Bor as "completely unacceptable".

Kerry was expected to return to Washington on 5 May.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

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

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...