Skip to main content

Critical South Sudan talks begin in hopes of halting descent 'into collapse'

By Faith Karimi and Mading Ngor, CNN
updated 5:36 PM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
Students take notes during an English language class at the Juba Nabari Primary School in Juba, South Sudan, on Wednesday, April 9. Recent conflict in the country has made resources scarce; many civil servants, including teachers, have not received their pay for several months. South Sudan erupted in violence on December 15 when rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar tried to stage a coup. Violence quickly spread, with reports of mass killings emerging nationwide. Students take notes during an English language class at the Juba Nabari Primary School in Juba, South Sudan, on Wednesday, April 9. Recent conflict in the country has made resources scarce; many civil servants, including teachers, have not received their pay for several months. South Sudan erupted in violence on December 15 when rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar tried to stage a coup. Violence quickly spread, with reports of mass killings emerging nationwide.
HIDE CAPTION
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
Escaping violence in South Sudan
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan meet in Juba
  • Talks between South Sudan's government and rebels begin in Ethiopia
  • South Sudan erupted into violence in a December attempted coup
  • Violence has raged since; both sides are now holding talks to seek a resolution

(CNN) -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrived in neighboring South Sudan on Monday for talks on unrest in the latter nation that has left hundreds dead.

He flew into the airport in the capital of Juba before heading to the presidential palace to meet his South Sudan counterpart, President Salva Kiir.

The two later held a joint news conference with al-Bashir stressing readiness to support South Sudan, according to the official Sudan News Agency.

Al-Bashir's visit comes as rival parties in the South Sudan power struggle work to find a solution to the violence.

Meanwhile, talks between South Sudan's government and rebels began Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Those negotiations were delayed last week.

"The two delegations appreciated the gravity of the situation and the need and urgency of resolving the crisis in South Sudan. They reminded themselves of the long-drawn liberation struggle that culminated in the independence of their country. They regretted the unfortunate situation which the current conflict has brought," read a statement from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an East African trade bloc helping to mediate between the parties.

Talks are expected to pick up again on Tuesday.

No breakthrough in South Sudan talks

The negotiations "come not a moment too soon," African Union Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said in a statement.

"Not a single day can be lost in the search for peace in South Sudan. Stopping the fighting in South Sudan is not only a humanitarian imperative but also a strategic necessity, in order to halt the rapid descent of Africa's newest nation into collapse."

South Sudan erupted in violence on December 15 when rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar tried to stage a coup.

Since then, militia members loyal to the ousted leader have battled government forces. Violence quickly spread with reports of mass killings emerging nationwide.

As teams from both sides are negotiating, fighting rages.

Three weeks of fighting have left more than 1,000 people dead and forced 200,000 from their homes, officials say.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after decades of war, making it the world's youngest nation.

Despite the split, al-Bashir has a stake in the talks.

Though South Sudan and Sudan divorced, they still have unresolved oil issues.

Prolonged fighting has cut South Sudan's oil output, affecting both economies.

Heed the warnings: Genocide and Rwanda's lessons for South Sudan

CNN's Samira Said and Nana Karikari-apau contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Crisis in South Sudan
updated 2:08 AM EST, Mon December 30, 2013
Youths from an ethnic militia is marching for the city of Bor, days after the government retook the city.
updated 1:29 PM EST, Sun December 29, 2013
CNN's Arwa Damon reports from a U.N. compound in Juba, South Sudan, where thousands have sought refuge from fighting.
updated 10:03 PM EST, Sat December 28, 2013
A growing chorus of international agencies is calling for South Sudan's warring factions to cease hostilities.
updated 2:48 PM EST, Sat December 28, 2013
CNN's Arwa Damon reports on the crisis unfolding in the world's newest nation.
updated 8:54 PM EST, Fri December 27, 2013
As violence continues, uncertainties of South Sudan's future arise. Will the nation move towards peace or slip back into bloodshed?
updated 6:38 PM EST, Fri December 27, 2013
East African leaders on Friday gave South Sudan's warring factions four days to lay down their arms after nearly two weeks of widening violence.
updated 5:14 PM EST, Fri December 27, 2013
Oil production is down in South Sudan as violence rages. CNN's Richard Quest and Fred Pleitgen explain why.
updated 6:27 AM EST, Tue December 24, 2013
U.S. Marines are poised to enter turbulent South Sudan to help evacuate Americans and provide security for the U.S. Embassy, says officials.
updated 5:32 PM EST, Tue December 24, 2013
Two weeks ago, South Sudan was best known as the youngest African country. Today, it is possibly the next Rwanda.
updated 10:07 AM EST, Tue December 24, 2013
A former negotiator for South Sudan speaks with CNN about what must be done to avoid civil war.
updated 11:16 PM EST, Tue December 17, 2013
The United Nations says the death toll from violence in South Sudan is "heavy" while thousands flee the nation.
updated 2:16 AM EST, Mon December 16, 2013
South Sudan's military has quashed an attempted coup, President Salva Kiir said, after heavy gunfire gripped the capital of Juba.
ADVERTISEMENT