News / Africa

Ranking S. Sudan Politician Joins Rebels

FILE - South Sudanese politician Ezekiel Gatkuoth (C) is seen standing in a courtroom in Juba, March 11, 2014.
FILE - South Sudanese politician Ezekiel Gatkuoth (C) is seen standing in a courtroom in Juba, March 11, 2014.
Marthe van der Wolf

One high-ranking member of the South Sudan ruling party, the SPLM, says he is joining the rebels who have been fighting the ruling party and President Salva Kiir since December.

The defector, Ezekiel Gatkuoth, is one of 11 former political detainees and the former ambassador for South Sudan to the United States and the United Nations.

He says he has decided to join the opposition under the leadership of former vice president Riek Machar to build a new South Sudan.

“The new beginning is a new South Sudan where I would want to see the war to stop and have a South Sudan free from ethnic politics and embrace all the critical reforms including institutionalization of a federal system. This South Sudan will only come if a new leadership emerges,” Gatkuoth said.

Eleven SPLM leaders were arrested after fighting broke out in December.  They were accused by Kiir of plotting a coup and were only released after international pressure.

Seven of the 11 were released in February.  These seven stated they would not join either side, and wanted to join ongoing peace talks in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa,  as a third party in order to be neutral.  The last four detainees were released in May.

Gatkuoth is the only one to join the opposition, but believes the 11 were never really neutral as they had raised issues of corruption, nepotism and other matters to Kiir before the war broke out. He says that all former detainees are championing reforms.

“My colleagues who are still in that category of former detainees, we are one and we will continue to be one.  We will work together to bring changes in our country, changes that we have been calling for, critical reforms," said Gatkuoth.

Peace talks between the warring parties have made little progress. Three agreements have been signed, including a cease-fire that has been repeatedly violated by both sides.

The two sides were given 60 days in June to set up a transitional government of unity.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: wang from: Gambella
July 02, 2014 2:40 AM
Baro,Baro Mr. Gatkuoth you are eye of all Nuer people.


by: Lisa from: Tx
July 01, 2014 8:54 AM
Please, Dr Riek be careful with the people who betrayed you before, some of them are pretending to come back you watch out, he once betried you. He called you names when you sign a peace deal with the late john garang. And now he is pretending to come back, i don't believe this guy he is after where his mouth is, he not what you think he is. He is just playing studip, Riek watch out he might have been send by kiir to kill you. Believe me, its just a show off, he is after money now that kiir can't feed him he is turning to the man whom he betried for many years, he called Dr riek a boy without a sign on his fore head, he did not know that riek is the leader of of the whole south Sudan. If it was Mr pagan, that would be the most important move for riek, which i know one day pagan, deng alor, and the rest of the splm who believe in peace and development. But not this fool, check him out you will believe me. Riek put him on spot he benefited under Dr riek, if it was not riek. he would have been working as a donkey in United state. He is a con man like James kok and the rest who disowned Dr riek.


by: Deng Taath from: Akobo,South Sudan
July 01, 2014 3:27 AM
Keep coming guy betraying Dr. machar will never help you as he was fighting for your release in jail for almost the whole of time in february till your he like your saviour you the former political detainees.
John Luk should just return back to juba if he may earn a place in mr kiir goverment
Those of pagan think that they are wise to neutralise them but now i dentified one by one.
we the mass will support you unless you leave the betrayal side to to Dr.Machar

Analyst in Akobo

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid