News / Africa

Kiir Issues Call for Peace in South Sudan

FILE - South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, right, addresses news conference at Presidential Palace, Juba, Dec. 16, 2013.
FILE - South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, right, addresses news conference at Presidential Palace, Juba, Dec. 16, 2013.
VOA News
The president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has expressed concern about recent strife in his country, condemning those "who would like to take power by force of arms."

Deploring the killings of innocent people, he criticized those "who are targeting others because of their tribal affiliation."

In a written statement, the South Sudanese leader said he has ordered the country's security forces "not to harrass civilians in any way... threaten or abuse them."

"Those unruly and undisciplined soldiers who are behind such terrible acts" he called criminals who "will not escape the long arm of justice."

Kiir called on everyone involved to "put the interest of our newly independent nation first." Mentioning his former vice president and nemesis, Riek Machar, by name, he urged him and forces supporting him to do the same.

Meanwhile in New York, the United Nations Security Council has voted to increase the size of its peacekeeping force in South Sudan, where violence between government forces and breakaway factions has escalated over the past week, endangering hundreds of thousands of civilians, and bringing the new nation to the brink of civil war.
 
In a statement following the Security Council vote, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked leaders across Africa and around the world for their determination to respond to the violence in South Sudan. "The world is watching and the world is acting," he said.
 
The Security Council resolution authorizes the U.N. to send an additional 5,500 peacekeeping troops to the strife-torn nation, boosting the number of peacekeepers there to 12,500.    
 
Still, Ban warned that the situation remains tense.  Two U.N. peacekeepers and hundreds of civilians have been killed over the past week.
 
Ban expressed concern that the violence may be spreading.  
 
"We have reports of horrific attacks, including extrajudicial killings, rape and mass graves. Tens of thousands have fled their homes and the numbers keep growing and, of course, innocent civilians are being targeted because of their ethnicity," said Ban.
 
The fighting that followed an alleged coup attempt last week has displaced more than 80,000 people amid reports of violence between members of the Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups.  President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, blames former vice president Riek Machar, a Nuer, of masterminding the alleged coup attempt.
 
Ban warned that those responsible for human rights violations and crimes against humanity will be held accountable, but he added that the political players within South Sudan bear ultimate responsibility for ending the conflict.
 
"In this season of peace, I urge the leaders of South Sudan to act for peace, stop the violence, start the dialogue [and] save your proud and newly independent country," said Ban.
 
The immediate prospects for dialogue between the warring parties seem remote.  Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama has moved 150 Marines to Djibouti to facilitate the evacuation of Americans in South Sudan. He has indicated that, if necessary, the United States might take "further action."

Reporting from New York by Adam Phillips.

  • 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.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
December 25, 2013 11:07 PM
The civilised world should consider both men, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar as war criminals and should be brought to justice very quickly. Both men are irresponsible politicians and have clear selfish reasons to tear apart the world's new nation whom the people of South Sudan paid dearly for their independence.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid