JUBA – Armed rebels were said to be in control of some of South Sudan’s oil fields Friday, raising questions of how long the country’s oil will flow and whether Sudan could enter a conflict that shows no signs of ending.
President Salva Kiir implored his country to turn away from ethnic violence and met Friday with foreign ministers from neighboring states who flew into the capital, Juba, to help calm tensions after a week of ethnic strife that is estimated to have killed hundreds.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he was sending a special envoy to South Sudan to help foster dialogue between opposing factions.
French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud, the current Security Council president, told reporters that Kiir and the widow of South Sudan’s rebel hero, John Garang, who led the country’s fight for independence from Sudan, had agreed to enter an unconditional dialogue. There was no word yet from ousted Vice President Riek Machar, who is believed to be in hiding.