News / Africa

    South Sudan FM Recalls Negotiating Team

    FILE - In this image made from video, South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, center left, and rebel leader Riek Machar, center right, exchange the signed documents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 9, 2014.
    FILE - In this image made from video, South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, center left, and rebel leader Riek Machar, center right, exchange the signed documents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 9, 2014.
    Peter Clottey

    South Sudan's unity government is in doubt after former vice president Riek Machar recalled the leadership of his team negotiating with South Sudan President Salva Kiir. Machar has accused Kiir of sabotaging the implementation of the agreement signed last August in Ethiopia by establishing 28 new states in South Sudan. 

    Machar, who is the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition, has since petitioned heads of state in the region and also called on the international community to put pressure on and prevent the government in Juba from undermining the accord.

    Both groups are supposed to form a transitional unity government with a total of 30 ministries. The accord gives the South Sudan government 16 ministries, including finance and planning, defense, information, national security, and justice and constitutional affairs. 

    Machar’s side got 10 ministries, including petroleum, interior, labor, mining, and land, housing and urban development. Foreign affairs and transport were given to a group of former political detainees not aligned with either the South Sudan government or the rebels. Other political parties in South Sudan got two.

    FILE - South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar, left, speaks to the media about the situation in South Sudan following last week's peace agreement with the government, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Aug. 31, 2015.
    FILE - South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar, left, speaks to the media about the situation in South Sudan following last week's peace agreement with the government, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Aug. 31, 2015.

    But Machar now refuses to allow his officials to be part of the government.

    His decision to withdraw the negotiating team came after the government refused to scrap President Kiir’s recently established 28 new states in South Sudan.Representatives of both sides are deadlocked on negotiations about the states established by the government.

    Officials say the outcome of negotiations that had been taking place would be incorporated in a new constitution for South Sudan.

    Botswana’s former president Festus Mogae is leading the joint monitoring and evaluation commission that is tasked with supervising the implementation of the agreement. Mogae recently said the formation of the 28 states complicates the implementation of the agreement.

    Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the secretary of foreign affairs, says the government’s refusal to abide by the terms of the original agreement is creating unease and tension.  

    “Dr. Machar has written a letter to [former] president Mogae copied to the regional leaders, the AU, the European Union, the Troika and the U.N. secretary-general saying that we need to implement the agreement as it is. And the agreement is saying 10 states not 28 states,” said Gatkuoth.

    “We are telling the world and the international community to let us implement the agreement as it is. But, President Salva Kiir is saying let us work outside the agreement by accepting the 28 states, and that is actually creating the destabilization.”

    Gatkuoth says the decision to establish 28 new states violates stipulations of the agreement, which he says calls for only 10 new states to be formed. He contends that the transitional government can only be formed after a constitution has been adopted, which he says has yet to be done due to the deadlock in negotiations.

    But supporters of the South Sudan government say the refusal of former vice president Machar to name his ministers to form a transitional government is delaying the implementation of the agreement. They said the opposition is to blame for the delay in the formation of a unity government.

    “President Salva has decided not to implement the agreement.Dr. Machar has decided today that he would recall only the leadership of the advanced team. We will meet in Pagak, South Sudan to decide on the next course of action that we need to take,” said Secretary Gatkuoth.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: James
    January 18, 2016 10:49 AM
    28 states is not the priority,our priority as south sudanese is peace.People of south sudan did not demand for 28 states.Government should mark this clear,our people are suppering and they are struggling for power not thinking for their people.Leaders should not eat the blood of their own people

    by: Abraham Majak Makur
    January 17, 2016 1:55 PM
    The parties to the conflict must be mindful of the suffering people. They international community should drastically intervene as to save the people of South Sudan. The ARCISS must be implemented letter by letter because this country belongs to all of us. The parties must be committed to achieve peace and account for the crimes committed during the 21 months conflict. The South Sudanese must pressurize at all cost for full implementation of peace and bring a lasting stability for the people of South Sudan.

    by: Chatim Daniel
    January 17, 2016 11:52 AM
    Only peace we need in south sudan. because our politicians they don't want peace in south sudan and we suffering for war, disease and hunger. We will pray our he will bring peace because country without peace is like a desert without trees and desert without water. God bless our country south sudan.

    by: Bol Ring
    January 17, 2016 10:46 AM
    IGAD and Trioka are not doing what they promised to do, hold those who derail peace accountable. Kiir government is purposely derailing the peace to test the serious of IGAD and Trioka threats. And so far, they had been just empty threats. Instead, they are allowing the government to think it can renegotiate and changed things it doesn't like about the agreement, yet IGAD was saying the peace package was final and just need implementation. If this agreement fail, it will be partially due to IGAD inconsistency with its messages. How can it say the peace was final, yet it's now saying the parties can renegotiate 28 states?

    Furthermore, the government is not allowing the peace monitoring and verification to access some areas in Equatoria where fighting is displacing civilians. all these things and IGAD and Trioka are silent. What message is that sending to Kiir government?

    That it is okay to derail peace and there will not be consequences.
    In Response

    by: tamara likiya from: kaya
    January 19, 2016 4:25 PM
    God is giving Kiir and Machar time to put off their egos and allow the people of SS to rebuild themselves from the suffering Kiir and Machar aflicted on the people. Time is almost up for them or they will face the wrath of God the Almighty and their children and grand children will pay the price very dearly. May the Holy Spirit touch your hearts to obstain away from people's blood. I think you have shed enough and your hands are full of innocent blood

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    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 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 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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora