News / Africa

    South Sudan, Rebels Fail to Form Transitional Government

    FILE - South Sudan President Salva Kiir, seated, signs a peace deal as Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, center-left, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, center-right, and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, right, look on in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 26, 2015. President Salva Kiir and his former vice president and rebel leader Riek Machar failed to form a unity transitional government   on Jan. 23, 2016.
    FILE - South Sudan President Salva Kiir, seated, signs a peace deal as Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, center-left, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, center-right, and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, right, look on in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 26, 2015. President Salva Kiir and his former vice president and rebel leader Riek Machar failed to form a unity transitional government on Jan. 23, 2016.
    Peter Clottey

    South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his former vice president and rebel leader Riek Machar failed to form a unity transitional government Saturday, which was a key demand in a peace accord signed in Ethiopia to end the country’s conflict.

    The rebels, or the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM/IO), refused to send the names of their proposed ministers to be included in the yet to be formed administration. They also accused Kiir of unilaterally establishing 28 new states, which they said violates the terms of the agreement.

    Botswana’s former president Festus Mogae, who heads the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), tasked with implementing the agreement, warned that the establishment of the 28 states could hinder the implementation of the deal.

    Ateny Wek Ateny, spokesman for President Kiir said the government in Juba was not to blame. He said Kiir is unlikely to change his mind on the 28 states, since he said a majority of South Sudanese supported the move.

    “It was unfortunate that the national transitional government was not formed yesterday in accordance with the JMEC timetable because the SPLM/IO [rebels] did not submit the list of those who were designated for ministerial positions. So the president cannot appoint an empty seat,” said Ateny.

    “The issue of the 28 states is now the issue of South Sudan so the president is not ready to rescind the order. If the SPLM/IO become adamant that they wanted to only implement peace agreement on the basis of only 10 states, then that would be unthinkable, unless they accept the 28 states. Because they themselves divided South Sudan into 21 states, President Salva Kiir only added 7 states to become 28 states.”

    The rebels said it appeared the government in Juba was disinterested in the full implementation of the agreement since Kiir was unwilling to change his mind on the 28 states.

    Fragile peace

    Critics warn the disagreement could undermine the fragile peace in the country after over 20 months of conflict which left hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced from their homes.

    FILE - Some of more than 30,000 people who flocked into Leer town, South Sudan, to receive food from the International Committee of the Red Cross, Dec. 15, 2015, which marked the two-year anniversary of South Sudan's civil war.
    FILE - Some of more than 30,000 people who flocked into Leer town, South Sudan, to receive food from the International Committee of the Red Cross, Dec. 15, 2015, which marked the two-year anniversary of South Sudan's civil war.

     

    Critics said the government was demonstrating bad faith and undermining the agreement President Kiir signed to end the conflict.

    Ateny disagreed. He said it was the responsibility of the government in Juba and the SPLM/IO to ensure the country was peaceful as demanded by South Sudanese. 

    “It is the rebels who are doing this as a scape goat for them since they have seen the international community represented by the JMEC [has] also said the establishment of the 28 states will be an impediment to the implementation of the agreement. The rebels want to replicate the same position, but the truth of the matter is that… The best thing for us is to bring peace to the people of South Sudan and not to dwell on the issues of 28 states,” said Ateny.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    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.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora