News / Africa

Opposition Says Delegates Barred From Attending South Sudan Peace Talks

Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) logo
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) logo
Charlton Doki
The head of the opposition United Democratic Front Party in South Sudan has said he and other party officials had their passports seized and were barred from traveling to Addis Ababa to attend a symposium ahead of the next phase of peace talks.

Peter Abdelrahman Sule said security officers stopped party officials from boarding a plane that had been specially chartered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to take civil society and political party members to Addis for the symposium. 

Their passports were confiscated and they were referred to a senior security officer, who told them he had received orders to not allow the officials to travel, Sule said.

The government denied preventing anyone from traveling to the talks, but information minister Michael Makuei Lueth told The Citizen newspaper that the officials were prevented from travelling because they did not have passports.

The paper also quoted Makuei as saying those prevented from traveling did not have entry visas to Ethiopia and some of them thought they were going to Malakal or Wau.

Sule lashed out at Makuei.

“It’s very strange that such a high person in government would make such a claim, as if it was the first time that Peter Sule was going to board a plane... that Peter Sule and his friend never had any experiences of travel abroad before," Sule said.

"Treading on people’s rights in that manner and making such utterances after violating people’s rights to me is the highest arrogant person," Sule said.

IGAD said the symposium, which began Thursday at African Union headquarters, is bringing together representatives of South Sudanese civil society, the government and opposition, political actors, faith-based groups, and traditional leaders. The symposium is being held ahead of the next round of peace talks for South Sudan.

Sule said his party was invited to the talks by IGAD, and expressed surprise that the government of South Sudan was unaware of the invitation.

He said that by barring officials from other political parties besides the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) from participating in the peace talks, the government was a violation of an agreement signed on May 9 in Addis by President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar.

“What happened to us is not simply a violation of our personal rights, our civil liberties and fundamental freedoms, our exercise of our liberty to travel unhindered, But it’s a cynical violation of the agreement of the 9th of May," Sule said.

"This agreement said clearly that the political parties are also stakeholders in the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa and, therefore, to stop us in this way can only show how people can play around with agreements. It shows the lack of truthfulness and the lack of sincerity with agreements,” he said.

Sule was released from prison in August after Mr. Kiir pardoned him for his role in forming a rebellion to topple the government two years earlier.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ram Lat Thuok from: Maker
June 07, 2014 10:13 AM
please,please Makuei you thinks like a man, don,t hold position like child.

by: John Carlo from: Nashville,TN USA
June 06, 2014 6:16 PM
I believe the information minister is arrogant person the
president need to send him back to school.a violation of personal rights, civil liberties and fundamental freedoms, the exercise of liberty to travel unhindered,

by: Lisa from: Tx
June 06, 2014 5:45 PM
Sule, why are you surprise. To attent the IGAD unless if your currently under southern Sudan government, your political party is not known, that is why Michael thought your going to malakal or wau. Because he was told so.if this happen when your coming from south sudan, do you think the idiots will let you out, second to that two years ago you spoke the truth about the government mismanagement. Don't feel sorry but just pray for peace God knows all. And by the way in south sudan we don't have immigrantion but we have southern sudanese security forces.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs