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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid