News / Africa

Regional Heads of State to Meet in Ethiopia

FILE - 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.
FILE - 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.
Peter Clottey
Heads of state and government from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) countries plan to meet in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa on Tuesday, according to Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan’s foreign minister.

IGAD officials say the focus will be on ways of improving peace and security in the six-country East African bloc devoted to boosting political and economic cooperation.  Participants will also strive to come up with solutions for resolving the conflict in South Sudan as well as security threats posed by the Somali-based Islamist insurgent group, al-Shabab.

Marial said South Sudan President Salva Kiir and former vice president and rebel leader Riek Machar will meet on Tuesday, as part of IGAD-mediated peace talks.

Their meeting comes a month after both Kiir and Machar signed a deal in Ethiopia to recommit to a cessation of hostilities agreement as negotiations continue between the two sides.

“This was a requirement by the IGAD mediators that the president will be able to meet the rebel leader to see how far they have honored the cessation of hostilities,” Marial said. “This is the fulfillment of the commitment of President Salva Kiir Mayardit to see that the peace process moves ahead.”

Both the government and the rebels have recently traded accusations of undermining the cessation of hostilities agreement. But, Marial says the rebels are to blame for attacking government positions.

“Unfortunately, the rebels’ side had actually violated the cessation of hostilities and they have been attacking left and right all the positions of the SPLA [Sudan People’s Liberation Army], especially in Unity State,” said Marial.

The conflict has left hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their homes.

Marial says the administration in Juba is committed to the peace talks, but called on regional leaders to pressure the rebels to become more serious about the negotiations.

Officials of South Sudan’s government recently expressed displeasure with neighboring Kenya and Sudan over their relationship with the rebels. Kenya was criticized for according preferential treatment to Machar.  Sudan was accused of undermining the Juba government’s legitimacy when it allowed a rebel delegation to hold a news conference in Khartoum over the weekend.

Marial rejected media reports of the criticism as mere media speculation. He says the government has confidence in Nairobi’s efforts to help resolve the conflict and says bilateral relations between South Sudan and Sudan are being continuously strengthened.

“South Sudan has the confidence of the ability of President Uhuru [Kenyatta] and his government to continue doing the best they can in order to bring peace to the republic of South Sudan,” said Marial. “For Sudan, our relations have been improving every day there is no question about that. Our message is that… a democratically-elected government cannot be equated with a rebel movement that is our concern.”                                                     
 
Clottey intv with Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan foreign minister
Clottey intv with Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan foreign ministeri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

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: Jeffrey Ngueny Deng from: Akobo,South Sudan
June 10, 2014 4:34 AM
The position of rebels is to peace in south sudan as the government side is for battle which they will never win.
Those of Marial,Makuei,Aguer are confusing the situation with proppogandas,therefore you the IGAD must find way to make the government side understood what peace mean to south sudan
Army are abandoning their position becuase administration is refusing to come to peace brokered in Adis Ababa


by: Lisa from: Tx
June 09, 2014 8:50 PM
Mr Benjamin, i thought that your more educated politically. Yes both kiir's army and riek 's army made mistakes, but you did forget when riek said its not only his army fighting the splm. And he can not control the army who defected from spla and they are fighting.
What happen in juba, Mr Benjamin you and other decided not to use democratic and political means to stop, what have become civil war under your watch, now heading to peace talk, you started by beleming riek of wrong doing, instead of calling for peace or even by asking kiir to respect the people who elected him to office, facts kiir was appointed because we lost John. Yet you better believe it, kiir is military man, not political but he is surounded by people like you who don't care about peace apart from self interest, don't belem riek because you contrubuted to the killing of the innocent, its time that so-called educated to support peace and show respect to human life. Benjamin your no different from kiir, unless if you talk real peace. And accept your mistakes all people working in south Sudan government. Ask kiir to call for election get the voice of people again so that the killing stop.

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