News / Africa

Kiir: South Sudan Vote to be Delayed, Latest Ceasefire Broken

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir speaks during a news conference in Juba.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir speaks during a news conference in Juba.
Philip Aleu
— South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has said elections scheduled for next year will have to be delayed to give South Sudanese time to reconcile after months of fighting that has killed thousands and displaced more than 1.2 million.

"Elections will not be held in 2015 because reconciliation between the people will have to take time," Kiir told reporters at Juba airport on Sunday after returning from Addis Ababa, where he met with his arch-rival in South Sudan's conflict, former vice president Riek Machar, for the first time since fighting erupted in December.

During the reconciliation process, South Sudan will have an interim government, Kiir said.

Kiir and Machar signed a framework agreement in Addis Ababa late Friday, agreeing to lay down arms and discuss the formation of an interim government, among other issues, in a bid to restore peace in South Sudan after months of fighting.

But hours after the agreement was signed, Kiir said opposition forces violated the ceasefire, launching attacks in Unity and Upper Nile states.
South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar (R) and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) exchange signed peace agreement documents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 9, 2014.South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar (R) and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) exchange signed peace agreement documents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 9, 2014.
x
South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar (R) and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) exchange signed peace agreement documents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 9, 2014.
South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar (R) and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) exchange signed peace agreement documents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 9, 2014.


Opposition military spokesman Lul Ruai Koang denied the allegations, laying the blame for the violation of the ceasefire agreement at the feet of government forces. 

“As we speak, they are inside Bentiu town and they are shelling our positions, as well as civilian populations ..." Koang said.

The opposition spokesman also charged that government forces had targeted camps of internally displaced persons.

"There is serious fighting and a lot of shelling by the government troops, because they entered and they have taken our positions,” he said.

Reports indicate fighting was still ongoing in parts of South Sudan Monday. But Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juk said he has not received any reports of fighting anywhere in the country, which is six days into a "month of tranquility."

During the month-long truce, both sides have pledged to lay down arms to allow farmers to plant crops and relief aid to get through to more than one million displaced people.

Without a ceasefire, aid agencies have warned that parts of South Sudan will face famine because there will be no crops to harvest if farmers cannot plant now.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn last week invited Kiir and Machar to Addis Ababa to hold face-to-face talks as the international community stepped up pressure on the two sides to end the conflict.

Kiir said he will head back to Addis Ababa in one month for a follow-up meeting with Machar on the peace deal.

At his airport news conference, Kiir joked that Ethiopia's prime minister had threatened Machar and him with imprisonment if they did not sign the framework agreement and agree to take concrete steps toward peace.

But Dina Mufti, a spokesman for the Ethiopian foreign ministry, denied that Desalegn had resorted to strong-arm tactics.

"This is something that has been taken out of context. We don't threaten leaders, we don't threaten our neighboring countries," Mufti told South Sudan in Focus.

Lucy Poni contributed to this report from Nairobi. John Tanza contributed from Washington, D.C.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: lado from: kampala
June 01, 2014 2:06 AM
Everything has its time according to the constitution but postponing the election will not help the country restore peace may be election is dynamic solution for our country

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid