News / Africa

Riek Machar: Don't Let 'Stupid' Comment Block South Sudan Talks

South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar (foreground, left) shakes hands with U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay at an undisclosed location.
South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar (foreground, left) shakes hands with U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay at an undisclosed location.
John Tanza
South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar said in an interview this week that he backs the Intergovernmental Authority on Development's (IGAD) stewardship at long-running peace talks between his side and the government, but wants the process to be more inclusive. 

Machar also said a statement attributed to IGAD Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim, calling him and President Salva Kiir stupid, was "unfortunate" but should not be allowed to stall the peace process.

"I've not been known for being stupid," said Machar, who has a degree in engineering from the University of Khartoum and a doctorate in philosophy and strategic planning from Britain's University of Bradford.

"That reference was very unfortunate and I would have thought Mahboub would apologize and we would continue with the peace process," he said, stressing that the opposition wants the talks to move forward.
I've not been known for being stupid.


The latest round of peace talks for South Sudan was supposed to start Monday, but neither the government nor opposition delegates showed up.

In a speech to lawmakers in Juba Thursday, Mr. Kiir said the government delegation will not return to the talks until he gets an apology from IGAD Chair, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia. Mr. Kiir has also called for Maalim to be punished for his statement.
 

Opposition wants greater inclusivity


The opposition said its negotiators were no-shows for the talks, not because of the comment made by Maalim, but because it wants the peace process to be more representative and include civil society, political and faith-based groups that fled South Sudan when fighting broke out in mid-December.

"Those who have a problem with the government in Juba have fled the country," Machar said in the interview with South Sudan in Focus.

"Those who felt things are not right and want a peace agreement and a change in the government structures are the ones abroad. They are the victims," Machar said. He has asked IGAD to include those groups in the peace talks, he said.

As for the groups who have stayed in South Sudan throughout more than six months of violence, some of whom were in Addis Ababa for the talks, Machar said, "I don't consider them victims."

"They are not under fear, are not coerced by anybody. Probably, they are pro-government civil society organizations," Machar said.

While the opposition leader did not say he wanted pro-government groups excluded from the talks, he insisted that the IGAD-brokered negotiations must be more "transparent," and include exiled groups.


Readers react


South Sudan in Focus Twitter followers and website readers were astounded that the talks had stalled over an insult. "Well done IGAD," commented Lisa from Texas on an earlier story about the delay to the talks. "I once said there is no law against stupidity, so why SPLM are mad?"

IGAD said in a statement that the talks are due to resume on Friday.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Magol Magol from: Anchorage Ak USA
June 23, 2014 3:14 AM
Dear S.Sudanese, Risk machar doesn't reflect the word doctor, how many times he broke away from SPLM and he didn't succeed? Because he always doesn't know what he is doing. And don't forget he will keep running away for the of his life.


by: malel Abergut from: Kampala Uganda
June 21, 2014 2:38 AM
We South Sudanese most especially the leaders are the major problem,you agreed a transitional government to be in place within 60 days,again you are boycotting it that means you all signed without knowing what is a transitional government.


by: Anonymous
June 20, 2014 2:10 PM
what am seeing the igad is bussiness they wanted to expliote or benefit that why they wanted to creat more problems so that they exist on the ground.it is so simple to order any violeting party witness their mistakes and carryed forward for international community to see.


by: makuei Philemon from: Juba
June 20, 2014 5:16 AM
No peace will be achieve since igad members brench to insult the two sides.with out reasons .it is project.17m dollars &12m euro are used .without progress. What provoked to insult?


by: tulith from: addis ababa ethiopia
June 20, 2014 4:04 AM
please salva kiir even the king can forgive is subordinate don,t be too much rigid did the guy insulted you before?


by: Gatdet Thoan from: washintong seattle
June 20, 2014 3:38 AM
Yes. The comment it right. There is not coup therefore the comments it's absolutely right high five. Offs the hook.


by: Makjohnson from: South Sudan
June 20, 2014 1:25 AM
I don't really understands what prompted Salva Kiir not to accept peace in South Sudan this time. If he is really not stupid as quoted, why not disapproving by accepting peace in the country? I doubt how a President or government which has no its own army can accept war only to rely on mercenaries from Uganda, west, South-east and the Central Sudan. Now, the rain come and the mercenaries will fall short to help Kiir...................


by: jin chua from: Uganda
June 20, 2014 12:24 AM
How come peace maker from IGAD through a bad word to the people that he has try to bring peace between them .Did he plan to make peace in South Sudan ? if he call those people stupid ,did he come for peace? He is the first time to c civil war ? How he hold this position in IGAD while he doesn't even know solving problem ?
if we come to real judgement on this man , he is actual stupid by himself.


by: maluak from: United States
June 19, 2014 10:49 PM
The one thing that is not the same for the best way for the first place in our hearts and I have been the case of the day is a great time with the Kiir same as the original message without having trouble getting ready for some people are saying about how to find out more information on what you want to know if they were not the intended for use of this message.


by: Lisa from: Tx
June 19, 2014 10:08 PM
To all south sudanese, the presendent have changed from being studip, to jackass. Kiir and his team are waiting for the minister to say sorry for calling south Sudan government studip. You can not explain studipity, this guys don't care about lnnocent lifes, south sudanese government think that this is a game? We are talking about human being. The more you delay and giving excuses the lifes are lost. Now i believe that the government interest is zero on its people. Thousand in UN compand just like refugees in another country waiting to go home. Why kiir? Millions are waiting to die soon, because no security, food and health. Am just asking God to help Dr riek to bring peace in the country. I know their are evil people in the government, you better believe me, they don't think about the suffering of others . Am asking Jesus, this time to help My country. Because nobody cares about the suffering of south sudanese apart from Dr riek, once he was called studip because he ask for peace within south Sudanese . He did stop fighting the splm instead he call for self determination. And yes we became independent, from the north which splm/A never wanted the south Sudan to be south. Splm wanted new Sudan. So that the more the war they get rich. Splm will never govern the country if they don't care a bout future generation. Dr riek your NOT a rebel your my presendent through Jesus. to all sudanese who believes in Jesus forget politicking and ask for mercy. Then peace will come. Am your brother and your my sister in Jesus 's name. Remember all evil people are studip natureally or their idiots because they don't care about human suffering.

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid