News / Africa

    South Sudan Rebels Surrender in Amnesty Deal

    Sudan - South Sudan mapSudan - South Sudan map
    x
    Sudan - South Sudan map
    Sudan - South Sudan map
    Bonifacio Taban
    Thousands of rebel fighters have accepted an amnesty deal proposed by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and "declared peace with the government of South Sudan," rebel and government officials said Friday.

    "Because South Sudan needs development, peace and forgiveness, we have decided to end rebellion in South Sudan," Gordon Buay, spokesman of the Leadership Council of South Sudan Rebels, said in a statement.

    Guay said 5,000 members of the South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM) and their families have arrived in Mayom County, in the north of the country, "as part of the peace process."

    "The atmosphere was very warm that women and children started ululating and singing for the spirit of brotherhood that has come to South Sudan," he said.

    Michael Chiengjiek Geay, the deputy governor of Unity State, confirmed that several thousand rebels from the SSLM, one of the largest rebel groups in South Sudan, arrived in Mayom County earlier this week.

    Led by Brigadier General Bapiny Monytuel, the SSLM rebels agreed to turn in their arms and ammunition, and more than 64 vehicles.

    Rebel groups who take up Kiir's amnesty offer will not be prosecuted, Geay said.

    “To me, this is a good process for peace and stability in the state, because these are the people who have been fighting us all along," he said.

    "If they actually answer the calls of our president, always calling for peace,
    this is very good.”

    Rebel commanders are due to meet next week in Juba with Kiir to formalize their surrender.

    Kiir offered amnesty to all rebel groups operating in South Sudan after he took office in 2011.

    The SSLM was formed in 1999 to fight with southern Sudanese rebels against Khartoum in the once unified Sudan's long civil war.

    But ahead of South Sudan’s independence in 2011, the rebels turned against Juba, accusing officials of corruption and tribal favoritism.

    SSLM fighters have been blamed for the deaths of  20 soldiers in the South Sudanese army, the SPLA, in early 2011. SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer said members of the SSLM have remained active along Unity state’s border with Sudan, near one of South Sudan’s largest oil fields.

    A team from the SPLA arrived in Unity State on Friday for talks on integrating members of the SSLM into the national army.

    South Sudan's government has been struggling to contain several insurgencies it claims are supported by its old civil war foe Khartoum since it gained independence from Sudan in July 2011. Sudan denies the claims.
     
    Relations between the Sudans have thawed in recent months, paving the way in April for the resumption of the South's oil being piped through Sudan after a 15-month shutdown.
     
    Earlier this month, Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir made his first visit to South Sudan since its secession in a bid to help normalize relations and restart cross-border trade.

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Joe Kidd from: Bangalore, India
    April 30, 2013 1:26 AM
    It will not be easy. This is a very good step forward.

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.