News / Africa

    'Come Home,' South Sudan Government Urges Citizens in Uganda

    South Sudan Vice President James Wani Igga, shown here addressing demonstrators at a peace rally in Juba in March 2014, urges South Sudanese who have fled the country to come home and help build a unified nation.
    South Sudan Vice President James Wani Igga, shown here addressing demonstrators at a peace rally in Juba in March 2014, urges South Sudanese who have fled the country to come home and help build a unified nation.
    Bonifacio Taban
    South Sudan's Vice President James Wani Igga has urged South Sudanese who have fled to Uganda to return home, reconcile their differences and help build a united nation.

    Speaking to thousands of South Sudanese gathered at a university campus event organized by the South Sudan embassy in Kampala, Igga said the government in Juba is committed to resolving the ongoing conflict through dialogue.

    But among the South Sudanese in the audience, there were skeptics who doubt it would be safe to return under the current circumstances.
     
    Igga was critical of a proposal to create a power-sharing government that includes anti-government forces. He called it unwise and feared it would encourage more people to rise up against an elected government in future.

    He said the elected government should be allowed to serve out its term, which is supposed to end next year. The vice president also denied that it is on the brink of collapse.

    “There are people circulating a wrong message that the government of Salva Kiir will step down," he told the gathering. "We want to tell you clearly, this is very wrong and can never happen in this world. And we see this as a threat to peace in South Sudan if rebel demands are considered,” he said.


    'We must address the root causes'


    Some South Sudanese at the gathering said a key step toward reconciliation is to bring to justice those accused of committing atrocities during the conflict. 
     
    "We must address the root causes and I think that will help a lot,” said Episcopal pastor Daniel Lual Kuot.

    The United Nations and rights groups have accused fighters on both sides of committing atrocities against civilians during the fighting, which broke out in mid-December. Mr. Kiir has called the fighting an attempted coup led by his former vice president, Riek Machar.

    Early this year, the government said it had arrested soldiers accused of rape, looting, killing civilians and destruction of property when violence broke out in December. There are reports that the accused escaped from prison.

    The African Union (AU) set up a commission to investigate abuses during the conflict. The high-level commission, led by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, began conducting field missions to gather information in South Sudan in April. 
     
    Kuot urged the regional bloc that has been trying to broker a peace deal in South Sudan, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to ensure neither Mr. Kiir nor Machar are part of any transitional government that might be formed.

    “I am afraid that if the two men... share the government, there may be another crisis ahead of us,” he said.
     
    University student Deng Gai Gatluak said he would have liked to hear from the rebel side as well as the government on how to restore peace in South Sudan.

    "If we want to have peace as South Sudanese, we must involve people from the opposition side and from the government in order for us to sit down and see the root cause of those conflicts," he said.


    South Sudanese don't buy 'failed coup' narrative 


    Gatluak Khot, another South Sudanese citizen in Kampala, said the government needs to drop its "failed coup" narrative if it wants to reconcile communities and achieve lasting peace across the country.
     
    "The reconciliation teams from the start are biased because they cannot drop the word of a coup and they are putting more blame on the other side. That means there is no reconciliation that will happen at all," he said.

    Machar has denied that he tried to oust Mr. Kiir, telling South Sudan in Focus in an interview that he and others in the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) merely wanted to democratize the party but were being met by resistance from the president and his backers.

    You May Like

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: losigin joseph from: juba
    June 17, 2014 9:21 AM
    we shld nt say it bt instead do the action for the country

    by: Jeffrey Ngueny Deng from: Akobo,South Sudan
    June 17, 2014 3:10 AM
    We must adress the root cause'' I think what Mr. wani is showing to the world that the government is not committed the truth signed in Adis Ababa he is just crying even from his bari people no one is listening to him rather than great hero Lado Gore.this mean that he don't what the power sharing is?your CORRUPTS GOVERNMENT will fall sooner than later.

    by: tut thol from: USA
    June 17, 2014 1:29 AM
    I will take the word one person say wani is "bipolar" I don't what the world you tried to get people in safe place into harmful place. Where is the home he talk about, they already destroy the home. If people are killing in hands of UN, does wani think people will be in public in juba? He is bipolar that is what I can say. People will come home after they leave the country. As long as they pretend like they running fake government in juba, book home.

    by: Micah Torujo from: Washington
    June 16, 2014 11:25 PM
    Hey Wani Igga, United nation would not be build on lies.
    Why are you westing your time?
    You and your goverment suppose to apologize to whole south Sudanese, to the families who your goverment killed, and to the world that your goverment is the one who started this tragedy or crisis and your goverment is sorry about it. Remember Wani in order for reconcilation to happen, wrong doers should admit their crimes and justice need to be pay in full.

    by: Sam Dave from: USA
    June 16, 2014 9:59 PM
    Why the government keeps lying to the their own people? Vice president said 'come home'.which home? My fellows, don't listen to him. He is bipolar. He and Kiir try to slaughtering the rest of you. if he wants to let you return home, let him come with Kiir and Riek With his group together and call all of you to come back home while the sit besides each other.To me, I didn't see sign of peace. When the peace implemented that the time the refugees will return home. The government of South Sudan seems like the people who ran away because of war are the problem of South Sudan but the government (SPLM) and SPLM - IN - Opposition are the problem of the South Sudan's crisis. Now, there are people who didn't left their homes and the homes were destroyed by both sides of the warring parts and nothing has been done to them. They are waiting for the government to help them by giving them food, shelters, and protections. The government doesn't care about them. VP Wani wants citizens of South Sudan to come back home while his soldiers deserted the affected states like Unity state, Upper Nile state, and Jonglei state. Those people who live in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan are from those affected areas (states). This time is not for propaganda. It's time for the true. Stop lying vice president, period.

    by: Naath nuer from: Khartoum
    June 16, 2014 3:50 PM
    Vice president telling people to go home, why did they run from s.s to uganda if there is realy security in the country. Did he come out to condemn the masecre in juba? No oppostion will share the government with them, i think wani is joking

    by: pidor tet duop from: Washington, state
    June 16, 2014 2:18 PM
    If I am you. I will not go back to central capital, because our government is too much lies on the way they are using to telling us about it. I will never forget what our government did to the own people who are voting for them. I don't think you can be our leaders again never never for my life.

    by: Lisa from: Tx
    June 16, 2014 2:15 PM
    To all southern sudanese, remember wanni is talking under his interest. Yes kiir's term is ending soon. He lied about the coup by Dr riek, wanni is trying to fool every body the way kiir did. About the killing of the innocent. kiir, never say am sorry, am asking for forgiveness from south sudanese. As Dr riek long time ago did . The only way for peace is for kiir to step down before his term ends , by doing so if he is for real peace and nation building, he have to transfer power to riek , by doing so that might help him, because as one of finding father of south Sudan he will still get involved in nation building. Wanni fear Dr riek in many ways. Riek stand for peace. because of riek, we are free from the north. Because of riek people started to feel sence of peace. To south sudanese stay where you are with your families at the moment, no hospital , schools. No jobs anything so why is wanni is asking people to go back when there is nothing to go back to. No security , no peace.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.