News / Africa

Released South Sudan Detainees In Ethiopia for Peace Talks

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during a press conference on Jan. 29, 2014, when seven detainees from South Sudan were released to his custody by President Salva Kiir. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during a press conference on Jan. 29, 2014, when seven detainees from South Sudan were released to his custody by President Salva Kiir.
x
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during a press conference on Jan. 29, 2014, when seven detainees from South Sudan were released to his custody by President Salva Kiir.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during a press conference on Jan. 29, 2014, when seven detainees from South Sudan were released to his custody by President Salva Kiir.
Lucy Poni
Seven former political detainees from South Sudan arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Wednesday to join talks aimed at resolving the crisis in the world's newest nation, a spokesman for anti-government negotiators told VOA.

Yahanis Musa Pouk said by phone that the team of seven former detainees arrived in Addis Ababa from Nairobi Wednesday evening.

Opposition negotiators had threatened to boycott the second round of talks unless several demands were met, including that the former detainees, who were released to the custody of the Kenyan president in late January, be allowed to travel to Ethiopia to take part in the negotiations.

The opposition withdrew its boycott threat after Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediators assured them that the seven would be allowed to attend the talks.

Before they travelled to Ethiopia on Wednesday, the seven were joined by the widow of John Garang, the founder of what is now South Sudan's ruling SPLM party, and met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan presidency said in a statement.

Garang's widow, Rebecca Nyandeng, who is herself a high-ranking member of the SPLM,  said the former detainees' participation at the talks was crucial to resolving the crisis in South Sudan, where thousands are said to have been killed and nearly one million displaced in two months of fighting.

Nyandeng called on Kenyatta to put more pressure on the South Sudanese government to release four other SPLM members who have been in detention in Juba since the unrest began in mid-December.

The government of South Sudan says it has enough evidence to charge the four remaining detainees and three other political figures, including former vice president Riek Machar, with treason, and will not release them until they have gone through the full legal process. 

President Salva Kiir has blamed the violence in South Sudan on a failed coup bid on Dec. 15, that he says was masterminded by Machar and a group of around a dozen SPLM members.

Machar and the others who have been accused of treason by the government deny that they had anything to do with  the violence or an alleged coup.

Under the terms of an agreement signed at the end of January between the warring sides, the release of all 11 detainees was supposed to be expedited.

In a statement released last week, the U.S. State Department urged the government of South Sudan to "release the remaining four political detainees."

"The expeditious release and transfer of all of the detainees would reduce tension and build confidence in an inclusive reconciliation process," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The second round of talks for South Sudan is supposed to focus on reconciliation and building a political dialogue between the two sides. But the talks are taking place against the backdrop of ongoing fighting in parts of South Sudan, including in Machar's hometown of Leer and in oil-rich Upper Nile state.

John Tanza and Karin Zeitvogel contributed to this story from Washington.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: simon from: malakal
February 16, 2014 2:50 AM
Absolutly, president kiir and the most dictator man in africa museveni joined their hand to kill civilians in south sudan for their own benefits. If U.S gov't is not taking serious action,they will continouse their stupid action.


by: Sebit Alison John Ladu from: Juba south sudan
February 14, 2014 4:23 AM
The creator is saying "there is no peace, " says the Lord, "for the wicked" (Isaiah 48:22) Unless repentance takes place, south Sudan will never see peace and the Lord will not heal the land.

Its a call for all to repent irrespective of position.


by: angelo ito from: kapoeta
February 13, 2014 7:43 AM
If the world didnt put their much efforts of considering the attrocity that is taking place in in south sudan and held the responsibility to the perpatrators salva kiir and museveni, then the new country shall join the list of iraq, syria, somalia in making. Miseveni push hand togathet with kiir to murder the country citizens

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid