News / Africa

S. Sudan Moving Toward Dictatorship, Former VP Says

South Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar speaks to reporters at the U.N. (2011 file photo)
South Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar speaks to reporters at the U.N. (2011 file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
Gabe Joselow
South Sudan’s recently fired Vice President Riek Machar says President Salva Kiir has been taking steps toward dictatorship, after he dismissed his entire cabinet last week. Machar is now focusing on winning the presidency in 2015.
 
The former vice president does not dispute President Kiir’s decision to dismiss his cabinet. Speaking to VOA from Juba, Machar acknowledged that he had been at odds with the government for some time.
 
“I have been critical lately of the performance of the government,” he admitted. “I have pointed out these issues, the rampant corruption, the rise of tribalism, the insecurity.” 
 
The president’s move underscores divisions within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party.  Kiir also suspended SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum, who represents the country in ongoing negotiations with Sudan. 
 
Machar said the president is mistreating Amum by restricting his movements and barring him from speaking to the press.
 
“This is denying him his rights,” he said, “this is a step toward repression and dictatorship.” 
 
The president is expected to name a new cabinet soon, and has already appointed his spokesman, Marial Benjamin, to be the next foreign minister. Before his appointment was announced, Benjamin said in an interview with VOA the cabinet reshuffle was long overdue and would not come as a surprise to many South Sudanese.

Party officials said the move was intended to reduce the size of government.
 
The U.S. State Department has expressed concern that the dismissal of Machar, as well as several deputy ministers and police brigadiers, poses a “risk to stability” in the world’s youngest nation. 
 
Machar and Kiir come from separate ethnic groups, and some analysts have speculated the rift between the two men could worsen tensions in their communities, or cause a split within the military.
 
Machar said he does not expect any violence, and that the SPLM is a “party that transcends tribal lines.” 
 
The former vice president noted that from this point on, he plans to contest the leadership of the SPLM, and then run for president in 2015. 
 
 

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid