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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid