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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs