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 International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid