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 On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid