News / Africa

    South Sudan's Machar Tells UN Chief He'll Return to Juba in March

    FILE - South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar talks to reporters at his private residence in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Feb. 13, 2016. He says he is ready to return to Juba in March to take up his position as first vice president.
    FILE - South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar talks to reporters at his private residence in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Feb. 13, 2016. He says he is ready to return to Juba in March to take up his position as first vice president.
    Peter Clottey

    South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar has assured the U.N. secretary-general by phone that he is ready to return to Juba in March to take up his position as first vice president.

    In an interview with VOA, Machar said he was waiting for the first phase of the security arrangement, as agreed to in a peace accord, to be implemented before he returned.

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wanted to ascertain when Machar would be in Juba to be sworn in, expediting formation of the transitional unity government that is aimed at restoring peace in the world’s newest nation.

    Machar said Ban promised support for the full implementation of the accord he signed with President Salva Kiir. His comments came after the U.N. chief met with Kiir on Thursday.

    Machar said the agreement lacked resources for its implementation, a concern he said he mentioned in recent meetings with African heads of state.

    Waiting for troop airlift

    “I have told him that I am ready to go to Juba, particularly at this time when the JMEC [Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission] has confirmed and assured me that Juba is being demilitarized and that our forces of 1,370 shall be transported to Juba," Machar said. "So I am waiting for when the airlift will start. Once the airlift is finished, I will definitely be following them."

    Machar said Ban also told him that as soon as the government was formed, he would help call a donor conference and acquire funds for implementation of the security agreement.

    "There are many aspects of this agreement that need international support, such as the assembling and containment of troops, which would mean provision of shelter, food, water and a health service to the troops," he said.

    Machar said he had yet to speak to Kiir about the peace accord they signed. He said that when he returns to Juba, he is likely — after consultations with colleagues, stakeholders and other South Sudanese — to confer with Kiir on implementation of the agreement.  

    He also said there is need for a joint deployment of police to Bor, Malakal, Juba and other parts of the country to end the violence in those areas. Once peace is restored, other aspects of the agreement can be implemented, Machar said.

    Number of states

    “Once I get to Juba, once we form the government, then we should start discussing," he said. "I hope by then President Salva would have suspended the 28 states."

    The deal that South Sudan’s warring parties signed in August called for the new government and a division of powers between the government and the opposition. Implementation stalled when Kiir changed the political landscape by establishing 28 states. The peace agreement was based on an understanding of 10 states.

    “The major activity," Machar said, "is assuring the people of South Sudan that peace has come, which would mean political stability, and security is maintained. And now we can address issues such as the IDPs [internally displaced persons], which are in [U.N.] protection centers."

    Machar was previously vice president of South Sudan from independence in 2011 until July 2013, when Kiir fired him and the rest of the Cabinet. The political rift erupted into violence that December and has never entirely stopped.

    The conflict has displaced more than 2 million in an already poor and underdeveloped country.

    Both sides are accused of having committed grave human rights violations during the conflict.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    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.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    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