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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

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

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    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 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 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 Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    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 With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke 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.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora