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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid