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

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora