News / Africa

South Sudan Recalls Top Envoys Amid Conflict

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir speaks after meeting with Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, in the capital Juba, South Sudan, Jan. 6, 2014.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir speaks after meeting with Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, in the capital Juba, South Sudan, Jan. 6, 2014.
Peter Clottey
South Sudan’s foreign minister has denied media reports that top envoys to Washington and other countries were recalled after they failed to convince the host countries that there was an attempt to overthrow President Salva Kiir’s administration.

The government in Juba has so far recalled its top diplomats to Washington, Moscow, Addis Ababa and Brussels. Barnaba Marial Benjamin says the recalls are part of a normal diplomatic shuffle. 

“This call is the normal routine in foreign affairs. We had recalled them previously for a briefing. Now it is a form of general transfer within the ministry of foreign affairs,” said Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan’s foreign minister. “Some of them will go to new places, others will come to the headquarters, and it is a transfer within the ministry, and that by the way is the first transfer to occur in the ministry of foreign affairs.”

Benjamin also said rebels had not demanded that the African Union (AU) replace mediators from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), at the peace negotiations in Ethiopia saying IGAD would have communicated any such development. 

He says IGAD has a successful track record of mediating peace talks in the region.

“IGAD has got all the capabilities to see that these peace talks go forward,” said Benjamin. “I’m sure IGAD is still committed to the talks and we have not received any message of that kind from either IGAD or the African Union for any move of the talks, not at all. IGAD is still continuing the negotiations and is in charge of the process, because the facilitators that are involved are highly qualified.”

Peace negotiations in Ethiopia appeared to have stalled following a resumption of clashes between the national army and rebels allied to South Sudan’s former vice president Riek Machar.

Both sides have accused each other of violating the cessation of hostilities agreement signed between the parties in Ethiopia at the IGAD mediated peace talks.

But, Benjamin says the rebels are to blame for the resumption in violence.

“Our government concern is expressed in the fact that the rebels have been violating the cessation of hostilities. Since the 18th of this month, they attacked Malakal and they have been attacking many other areas and that is a clear violation of the cessation of hostilities,” said Benjamin.

“The government has restrained itself and has been on the self-defense, while the government has the capacity to pursue them, and pursue them were they are,” said Benjamin. “But because the government is committed to the peace talks because we believe this is a senseless war that’s why the talks have been continuing.”

Nhial Deng Nhial, the chief negotiator for the government at the peace talks in Ethiopia who had returned to Juba for consultations before the next round of negotiations, has now returned to Addis Ababa.  Benjamin says the government in Juba is not to blame for the stalled peace talks.

“Our chief negotiator went back today after being given the go ahead for the second part of negotiations to go ahead. So any stalling of talks is not from our side. It’s on the side of the rebels who are left and right violating the cessation of hostilities agreement, and I think the IGAD countries will handle that with them,” said Benjamin.
Clottey interview with Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan foreign minister
Clottey interview with Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan foreign ministeri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs