News / Africa

Obama Signs Executive Order as South Sudan Accuses US of Meddling

President Barack Obama speaks at a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (not pictured) in Rome March 14, 2014.
President Barack Obama speaks at a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (not pictured) in Rome March 14, 2014.
James Butty
South Sudan’s minister of information says the United States is meddling in South Sudan’s internal affairs by trying to influence the outcome of ongoing peace negotiations.

Michael Makuei was reacting to an executive order issued Thursday by President Barack Obama clearing the way for U.S. sanctions on anyone threatening the stability of South Sudan, as well as those committing human-rights abuses.

Makuei denies that anyone in the South Sudan government is impeding current peace talks being held under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Makuei says the executive order will obstruct the ongoing peace process more.
 
“In the first place, I don’t know what are the criteria used by him (President Obama) to decide whether X or Y has committed human rights violations or abuses,” Makuei said.
                   
Makuei said the East Africa regional group Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has already decided to set up a committee to investigate allegations of rights violation in the South Sudan conflict.
 
He said it would have been better had Mr. Obama waited for the outcome of an IGAD investigation before authorizing sanctions.
 
“The investigation has not yet started, and based on that investigation, this would have been the most appropriate time for him (Obama) to decide as to who violated and what action should be taken against them,” Makuei said.
 
Makuei said while many were killed and tens of thousands displaced by the December 15 conflict, the government of South Sudan did not commit any human rights violation.
 
“A lot of people died, but did you investigate so that you decide as to who committed what, or are you basing your claims on individual reports submitted people who decided to give misleading reports,” Makuei said.
 
Though South Sudan’s warring parties signed a permanent ceasefire agreement in January, ongoing peace talks in Ethiopia have stalled.
 
The South Sudan government said late last month that it will not take part in the peace process if a group of former high-ranking political leaders - whom the government detained after fighting broke out in December – join the talks as a third party.
 
Makuei said the government is not obstructing the peace process but simply stating the position of South Sudanese.
 
“We are negotiating and in the process of negotiation. There is no question of obstruction as long as you continue to state what you believe to be the position of the people of South Sudan,” Makuei said.
                   
He said “foreign intervention” in the negotiations between the government and rebels was responsible for obstructing peace in South Sudan.

“This excessive intervention with the objective of driving the peace process in the direction people want, this is what is causing us problems. Not the rebels or the government,” Makuei said.
 
Asked to be specific in his allegations of foreign intervention, the South Sudan government spokesman said the United States was meddling in South Sudan affairs and gave an example that he claimed came from U.S. Ambassador Susan Page.
                   
“From the side of America, this has been clearly confirmed by Susan Page in a lecture which she gave at one of the universities in America and she confirmed the position of the people and government of America because she clearly stated that they support the rebels, and that the rebels are fighting a just war,” Makuei said.

There is no record that Page made those comments.

Page said in an interview with VOA last month that the South Sudan conflict was not winnable “through the use of force and weapons.”
 
“We reiterate there cannot be a solution militarily to this conflict that is first and foremost political and where demands of people need to be heard,” she said.

In its 2012 human rights report, the U.S. State Department said the most serious human rights problems in South Sudan were security force abuses, including extra-judicial killings, torture, rape, intimidation, and other inhumane treatment of civilians as well as the lack of access to justice.
Butty interview with Makuei
Butty interview with Makueii
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: No to Democracy
April 11, 2014 7:48 AM
South Sudan is too diverse. A criterion of a successful country is that be ethnically homogenous, or have one major ethnic group and a few minority groups who are tolerated and given their rights. South Sudan has dozens of ethnic groups. The Dinka is the largest at 15%, the second Nuer at 10% and the Shilluk at 8% and so forth. And its mostly the ethnic group most developed in military and trade that assumes the leadership of a new country. John Garang was a Dinka. His follower Salva Kiir is a Dinka. Salva Kiir barely developed the country. He did almost nothing in the last 3 years. And he gave preference to his own ethnic group while excluding the rest.

South Sudan has probably the world's largest per capita of race wars. While the second Sudanese civil war was in full rage, the Dinka crushed an ethnic group called the Bor, and I've seen a Dinka boast about it. All through 2012, there was a race conflict between the Murle and the Nuer. The army did almost nothing. Ideas like human rights and democracy belong in Europe and are inapplicable all throughout Africa. Democracy requires tolerance between ethnic groups, which is never guaranteed. Africans think purely in terms of race. They resent entire races, punish entire races, and empty their rage on entire races. Black Americans resenting White Americans comes to mind (search "black men white women").

Democracy also requires an educated populace. Most Africans have either completed secondary education, did not complete their education or are illiterate altogether. Few go to university, and intellectuals are fewer. And most of the rural or recently urban Africans do not understand the voting procedure. (And dictators do not step down; the manipulate the voting process to their own benefit.) Human rights like freedom of religion is guaranteed, as religion is not as important to most Africans as race. However freedom of speech and the right to addressing grievances is foreign. It is always brave to criticize the powerful directly and openly, as the repercussions have always been painful.

These ideas come from the former colonizers from Britain, France, Belgium, Germany and Portugal. These are European countries built on European ideas and traditions. European ideas belong to Europe as black skin belongs to Africans, and they belong to Africa as much as zebras belong to Europe. And the only reasons that Europeans colonized Africa was that Europe was infinitely stronger in military and had material wealth that was astronomical in comparison to the African kingdoms.

by: Kang from: JJ
April 06, 2014 5:06 PM
PEACE is what we want now not accusations and complaints
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 29, 2014 9:50 AM
South Sudan will never have peace because everybody want to be a leader
This is a failed state. If Riak Machar comes to power, he will only favor his Nuer group and Dinka will again rebel. This is a very useless and totally failed state.

by: brook from: ethiopia
April 06, 2014 11:57 AM
Kirr and Machar or etc must stop killing innocent people at South sudan
In Response

by: nyok Abraham from: juba
April 08, 2014 10:58 AM
Did Kiir and Machar or etc stop killing of innocent people from south sudan ?

by: Jom from: Juba
April 06, 2014 12:40 AM
Thank you president Obama we are searching of peace.

by: D lol from: Juba
April 05, 2014 8:46 PM
Makui must go with salva all together

by: zabib from: juba
April 05, 2014 11:43 AM
The confussion is at a very high level in the south Sudan.

by: walgatwechrik from: pagak
April 05, 2014 11:39 AM
usless makui do you think to fight with u.s gov,t

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs