Jan 06 2014
Weeks of violence in South Sudan that resulted in the deaths of over a thousand people and the displacement of hundreds of thousands, have culminated in tenuous peace talks. The world’s newest nation, South Sudan was officially formed in July 2011 and has suffered conflict ever since.
The latest round of violence began on December 15th in the capital, Juba and then spread to the entire country. There have been disturbing reports of mass killings. Some of the worst violence between military forces and rebel fighters has taken place in the oil-rich city of Bor.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir, is supposed to meet with former Vice President Riek Machar, who leads the opposition rebel forces. The meeting, taking place in neighboring Ethiopia, were scheduled to begin over the weekend but do not appear to be progressing.
Both leaders are under intense pressure from African nations and the West to bring about an end to the conflict. US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “We will work to apply international pressure to any elements that attempt to use force to seize power. That is not acceptable.” On Friday dozens of US citizens were evacuated from the US Embassy in Juba.
GUEST: Thomas Mountain, writer at Foreign Policy Journal and an expert on South Sudan