News / Africa

Riek Machar Announces South Sudan 'Resistance' Movement

FILE - A July 26, 2013 photo shows former South Sudan VP Riek Machar speaking to the media to announce he will run for the presidency in 2015 against President Salva Kiir, who sacked Machar and his cabinet this week, Juba, South Sudan.FILE - A July 26, 2013 photo shows former South Sudan VP Riek Machar speaking to the media to announce he will run for the presidency in 2015 against President Salva Kiir, who sacked Machar and his cabinet this week, Juba, South Sudan.
x
FILE - A July 26, 2013 photo shows former South Sudan VP Riek Machar speaking to the media to announce he will run for the presidency in 2015 against President Salva Kiir, who sacked Machar and his cabinet this week, Juba, South Sudan.
FILE - A July 26, 2013 photo shows former South Sudan VP Riek Machar speaking to the media to announce he will run for the presidency in 2015 against President Salva Kiir, who sacked Machar and his cabinet this week, Juba, South Sudan.
John Tanza
South Sudan's former vice president says he has formed a "resistance" group that will fight the government to ensure democracy and good governance in the war-battered country.

"We decided to organize a resistance against the regime," Machar told VOA in a telephone interview from an undisclosed location.

"So, yes, if you heard troops in Upper Nile, in Jonglei, in Unity States, in Equatoria saying what I am saying, yes, we are now an organized resistance against the regime," said Machar.

The resistance group, called the SPLM/SPLA -- an amalgam of the name of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the South Sudanese army -- wants to see democracy, pluralism, free elections and good governance take hold in South Sudan, Machar said.


Machar went into hiding in mid-December when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy of mounting a failed coup against him, which the government said kicked off weeks of bloodletting across the country.

Machar has denied trying to oust the president  in a coup. In his interview with VOA, he insisted that he and others in the ruling SPLM merely wanted to democratize the party.

"The struggle in the SPLM is a struggle of people who want the SPLM to be a democratic movement," he said.

Machar was fired from his post of vice president in July, when Kiir reshuffled his entire cabinet. Since then, the former vice president has been a vocal critic of Kiir, saying he has "dictatorial tendencies" and vowing to challenge him for the leadership of the SPLM ahead of general elections in 2015.

But he said he did not launch his resistance movement in order to better position himself for a run for the presidency.


Machar invited the 11 SPLM leaders who were detained when the unrest broke out to join his resistance movement against Kiir.

Seven of the 11 have been released, under the terms of a peace agreement signed 11 days ago by the two sides in South Sudan's conflict. But the government said it has enough evidence to charge the four other detainees and three more political leaders who fled when the fighting broke out -- including Machar -- with treason.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, flanked by seven South Sudanese detainees released to his custody, speaks to reporters in Nairobi.Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, flanked by seven South Sudanese detainees released to his custody, speaks to reporters in Nairobi.
x
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, flanked by seven South Sudanese detainees released to his custody, speaks to reporters in Nairobi.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, flanked by seven South Sudanese detainees released to his custody, speaks to reporters in Nairobi.
​Machar said that he wants an end to the fighting in South Sudan so that the country can focus on much-needed development. But Kiir has forced his hand, and is forcing war on the people, he said.

"I myself am tired of war... I share the views of people who say, 'We do not want any more war. We want our people to reconcile. We want our people to develop and catch up with the rest of the world.' But Kiir Mayardit is forcing this on us... Therefore, the people have the right to resist," Machar told VOA.


Foreign observers have described the peace deal signed by the two warring sides as shaky, and a spokesman for Machar said Monday that government forces violated the agreement over the weekend when they attacked Machar's hometown in Unity state and other towns held by the anti-government forces.

Talks to reconcile the warring factions in South Sudan are due to resume on February 7th.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Abel Ogah from: OJU, Nigeria
February 03, 2014 5:46 PM
One thought that Independence is automatic ticket for PEACE. Africans think twice!!

by: Anonymous from: Mars
February 03, 2014 4:56 PM
A great start, to put pressure on Kiir, he must talk genuinely and not be allowed to stifle democracy in S Sudan. That will be a very bad start. The use of mercenaries and a foreign force of Uganda/Rwanda/M23 forces is not sustainable. South Sudan should be able to govern itself and be at peace with all her neighbors for progress to increase. A mode of rule like that in Rwanda and Uganda where the leaders cling on by hook or crook, do not care about free and fair elections, and do not allow freedom of expression should not take root in S-Sudan. International community needs to help/force both these leaders to use debate and merge their armies into one-again. But if Kiir is adamant, then a neutral UN force can keep peace while a transitional govt is formed to draft a new constitutions with reforms and after that oversee a free and fair elections. Foreign militias should go back where the came from and disband asp.
In Response

by: Abel Ogah from: Nigeria
February 03, 2014 6:16 PM
You hid your identity because you never said the Truth. Learn to embrace Peace without which no one can see God.
Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs