News / Africa

    S. Sudan Rebels Want Prisoners Released at Peace Talks

    S. Sudan Rebels Want Prisoners Released at Peace Talksi
    X
    January 03, 2014 6:26 AM
    South Sudan's army continues to battle rebel forces, even as negotiators from the warring sides expect to begin talks Friday aimed at ending the violence that has pushed the world's newest country toward civil war.
    Watch related video from VOA.
    Marthe van der Wolf
    Releasing their imprisoned colleagues will be a top priority for South Sudanese rebels during peace talks that are to start Friday in Ethiopia.  The government arrested some pro-rebel officials during the initial outbreak of fighting in South Sudan's capital, Juba, last month.

    Delegates of former South Sudanese vice president Riek Machar see the release of detained prisoners as an important goal during the peace talks.
     
    The rebels and delegates of the South Sudanese government are set to start face-to-face negotiations Friday.
     
    Spokesperson for the rebel troops Hussein Mar Nyuot said the issue of the detainees is a very serious matter, as he feels they should also participate in the negotiations:
     
    “With the prisoners, they were actually detained because of [the] alleged coup.  And these are the senior members of the SPLM, which is actually the ruling party of the country.  And we want them to be part of these talks because what caused the problem is actually an issue of conflict within the SPLM,” said Nyuot.

    Number of South Sudan Refugees by LocationNumber of South Sudan Refugees by Location
    x
    Number of South Sudan Refugees by Location
    Number of South Sudan Refugees by Location
    ​Delegates arrived in Addis Ababa on Wednesday and Thursday, and are separately meeting with officials of the East African bloc IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development).
     
    The negotiations will start while fighting continues in South Sudan. Rebels reclaimed the key city of Bor Wednesday, 120 kilometers outside Juba.  They also control Jonglei state and the two oil-rich states of Upper Nile and Unity.
     
    Along with a possible ceasefire, negotiators will likely discuss the outbreak of ethnic violence between supporters of Machar, a member of the Nuer tribe, and supporters President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka.
     
    But spokesperson Nyuot said the topics to be discussed have not been decided.
     
    “We are positive, and will see how it goes tomorrow.  I do not want to predict.  I do not want to set the agenda before people actually agree on the agenda.  I do not want to expose our agenda, what we are coming, because the mediators will have to put the agenda together,” said Nyuot.
     
    Fighting in South Sudan started December 15, when a group of soldiers attacked army headquarters in Juba.  The next day, President Kiir accused Machar of attempting a coup.
     
    The fighting has killed more than 1,000 people and displaced about 200,000 others.  It is feared the conflict might escalate into an all-out civil war.
     
    President Kiir has said there will be no power-sharing deal.
     
    South Sudan is the world's newest nation, having separated from Sudan in July 2011 after decades of war.

    • Members of the South Sudan rebel delegation attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's peace negotiations, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
    • Taban Deng Gai, left, head of the rebel delegation and South Sudan's leader of the government delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial, attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's peace negotiations, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
    • Unidentified members of the delegation from the South Sudan government and western observers meet at the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
    • A displaced mother and her baby, one of the few to have a mosquito net, wake up at a refugee camp, Awerial, South Sudan, Jan. 2, 2014.
    • A young displaced girl carries a bucket of water back to her makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound. The compound has become home to thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
    • Displaced people gather inside a mosquito net tent as they flee from the fighting between the South Sudanese army and rebels in Bor town, in Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 30, 2013.
    • A displaced woman hangs up laundry on the plastic sheeting wall of a latrine at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
    • Yared, 2, is held by his mother, Madhn, who fled from the town of Bor a few days ago. She receives medicine for her child at a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical tent, at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
    • A young displaced boy rests on the wheel arch of a water truck while others fill containers from it, at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Africa, Dec. 31, 2013.
    • A family makes tea outside their makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
    • A general view of a camp for displaced people set up in a United Nations compound in Bor, South Sudan, Dec. 25, 2013.
    • South Sudan army soldiers hold their weapons as they ride on a truck in Bor, Dec. 25, 2013.

    Additional reporting by VOA's South Sudan in Focus:

    Machar told VOA South Sudan in Focus Wednesday that President Kiir was responsible for much of the unrest, and that peace cannot be achieved under Kiir's leadership.

    "He has disunited the country.  There is a massacre in Juba, 'ethnic cleansing' in Juba," he said. "I don't think Salva Kiir can unite the people anymore."

    Machar said South Sudan's citizens should join him in a bid to force the president to step down, if he does not do so voluntarily.

    Listen to our full interview with Riek Machar conducted by John Tanza:

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Blackstar Deng Bol Deng from: Juba
    January 02, 2014 11:14 PM
    I remmeber the last suffers of 90s and again now, will our life delivery like that? You cann,t kills to be a leader.

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora