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 Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.