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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs