News / Africa

    South Sudan Blames Rebels ‘Intransigence’ For Stalled Peace Talks

    South Sudan's Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin speaks during a press conference with Interior minister Aleu Ayienyi Aleu (L), in Juba, South Sudan, April 18, 2014. The Government of South Sudan strongly condemns the attack on innocent civilians in
    South Sudan's Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin speaks during a press conference with Interior minister Aleu Ayienyi Aleu (L), in Juba, South Sudan, April 18, 2014. The Government of South Sudan strongly condemns the attack on innocent civilians in
    Peter Clottey

    South Sudan’s foreign minister says the stalled peace negotiations between the government in Juba and opponents of the administration are due to the intransigence of representatives of the rebel leader and former vice president Riek Machar at the talks in neighboring Ethiopia.

    Barnaba Marial Benjamin called on the international community to pressure the rebels to end the fighting, insisting that President Salve Kiir is committed to ending the conflict and restoring peace and stability in the world’s new west nation.

    "South Sudan is committed to peace. The leadership, the party and everybody else, we are for peace and we have never left the peace forum,” said Marial. “So the problem is with the rebels and as you can see for the first time the mediators and the international community have now realized those who are violating the cessation of hostilities are the rebels themselves. Our troops still have orders to respect the ceasefire.”

    He says the government’s negotiating team remains in Ethiopia waiting on the rebel delegation in order to begin the next round of talks after the negotiations stalled.

    “We have never left the peace table,” said Marial. “The talks were stalled and delayed because of the intransigent position of the rebel group. That they didn’t want to attend the peace talks or continue talking on the issues of peace because they didn’t like the stakeholders and former detainees to be a part of the negotiating team although that was their first request of Dr. Riek Machar, [but] now he doesn’t want them anymore.” 

    The government has accused the rebels of breaching a ceasefire agreement signed between President Kiir and Machar after the rebels attacked Ayod town on Tuesday.

    A delegation of the rebels failed to meet Ugandan officials as part of the peace negotiations after both groups attributed the failure to miscommunication. The rebels have insisted Uganda withdraw troops from South Sudan as their main demand to ending the conflict at the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia mediated by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

    Marial says it is unlikely that Uganda would pull its troops out. He says the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) is there to combat violence carried out by armed groups that cross borders to terrorize citizens in countries including, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Sudan and Uganda.

    “The rebels desire to visit and talk to Uganda is really not to talk about the issue of Ugandan forces in South Sudan, because this is a sovereignty issue that connects the two countries,” said Marial. “The Uganda forces are there because there are other important issues that they are taking care of. The issue for example of the Lord’s Resistance Army, which is causing havoc in our region including South Sudan, DRC, and Uganda.”

    The rebels have accused Uganda of taking sides in South Sudan’s conflict by supporting the government in Juba.

    But Marial says the presence of the UPDF forces in South Sudan forms part of bilateral relations between Juba and the administration in Kampala.

    “The issue why they are going to Uganda maybe is to get more advice, how they should listen to the voice of peace and I think that is the most important thing,” said Marial.  

    Clottey interview with Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Foreign minister
    Clottey interview with Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Foreign ministeri
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

     

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Dengtaath from: Akobo,South Sudan
    July 24, 2014 3:29 AM
    You keep on bombarding rebels position, what could you think that rebels can do rather than parsueing your Army
    Cease your bombardment there will be no more attack
    One thing is the UPDF ,This UPDF is not south sudan people's defense forces imagine better to name SPLA to be UPDF

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora