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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid