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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs