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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid