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

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    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

    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.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora