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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' 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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs