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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs