News / Africa

Released Detainees Ready to Help South Sudan Negotiations

Left to right: former Security Minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum, former Deputy Defense Minister Majok D'Agot Atem, former envoy of Southern Sudan government to the US Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, in court.
Left to right: former Security Minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum, former Deputy Defense Minister Majok D'Agot Atem, former envoy of Southern Sudan government to the US Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, in court.
Peter Clottey
The recently released detainees accused of plotting to overthrow South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir are ready to meet both the country’s leader and former vice president Riek Machar as part of a bid to help resolve the crisis, according to Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, a released detainee.

The released detainees include Pagan Amum, former Secretary General of the governing Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), Majak D'Agot, Oyai Deng Ajak and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth. 

Gatkuoth, who was a former liaison officer at the embassy of South Sudan to the United States, says the government in Juba seized their travel documents –thus preventing them from traveling abroad to seek medical checkups in neighboring Kenya following their five months in detention.

In an interview with VOA Gatkuoth denied plotting with others to overthrow the government in Juba, saying the released detainees now want to help resolve the ongoing conflict that has left the country seemingly divided around ethnic lines.

“In the first place there was no case. Of course I’m innocent I did not commit any crime, and I do not believe even that there was a coup from the beginning,” said Gatkuoth. “Of course the case was collapsing right in front of our eyes because… the court was about to acquit, and this is when the government intervened, and stayed the proceedings,” he said.

The government released the four accused political detainees saying the move could expedite the peace negotiations in Ethiopia and help end the conflict. The release of the detainees was one of the key demands of the rebels allied to former vice president Machar at the peace talks.

Gatkuoth says the group seeks stability and reconciliation to end the conflict.

“The mission now is to first make sure that there is peace in this country. This is our number one priority. We need to cease hostilities and have a permanent ceasefire so that the guns must be silent and then from there we address the root causes of this conflict, and the problems that we are facing in this our beloved country,” said Gatkuoth.

He says he and his colleagues are willing to meet both warring factions to end the violence. South Sudan’s violence erupted after the government in Juba accused Machar of plotting with others to overthrow the administration.

“We are going to meet the president of the republic General Salva Kiir and we are going to meet Dr. Riek Machar, and basically our agenda is to bring this country together,” said Gatkuoth.

The government says the released detainees should stay in the country to help work for peace. But Gatkuoth says they need to seek medical treatment following their detention.

“We were trying to go to Nairobi for medical checkups. Nobody wants to leave the country,” said Gatkuoth. “We are also appealing to the government that they should not take this as if we are trying to go away from the country and we will not come back and we will complicate the process. Nobody will complicate this peace process because we are committed to peace.”
Clottey interview with Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, South Sudan SPLM member
Clottey interview with Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, South Sudan SPLM memberi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ali baba from: new york
April 30, 2014 5:32 AM
South Sudan is an ideal example of radical Islam destructive behavior. Sudan is an African country .the people live in the northern part are from Arab descendent . The people live in the southern part are from African decedent. There was a civil war which resulted of genocide of most southern people . Sudan. Gov. of the northern part had started a war. The Northern Gov. . with the help of other Arab countries are able to kill people in the Sothern part. as a result, result of civil war, million died in the genocide. Of course Arabs has a lobby and Arab owned media,. no body heard about the genocide in south Sudan . the recent conflict is created from the civil war

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid