News / Africa

Released S. Sudan Political Detainees Hope to Jump-Start Peace Talks

The seven detainees from South Sudan, shown here with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, after they were released to his custody, will be a third party at peace talks for South Suidan, along with pro- and anti-government negotiators. The seven detainees from South Sudan, shown here with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, after they were released to his custody, will be a third party at peace talks for South Suidan, along with pro- and anti-government negotiators.
x
The seven detainees from South Sudan, shown here with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, after they were released to his custody, will be a third party at peace talks for South Suidan, along with pro- and anti-government negotiators.
The seven detainees from South Sudan, shown here with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, after they were released to his custody, will be a third party at peace talks for South Suidan, along with pro- and anti-government negotiators.
Andrew Green
Seven former political detainees from South Sudan will take part in peace talks for the country as a "third party," alongside negotiators for President Salva Kiir's government and opposition forces, including loyalists to former vice president Riek Machar.

One of the seven, former South Sudan Justice Minister John Luk Jok, told reporters in Addis Ababa on Thursday that the former detainees, all of whom are members of South Sudan's ruling SPLM party and were detained shortly after violence erupted in Juba on Dec. 15, want to jump start the talks so that peace can be restored in South Sudan.

"The suffering is too immense," Luk said. "Children are dying, women are dying and suffering. People are in the bush. People are in the United Nations camps, with barely anything to depend upon.”

Another former detainee, one-time Cabinet Affairs Minister Deng Alor said that because the seven understand the origins of the conflict in South Sudan, their input will be a big help to the negotiations.
Former South Sudanese Minister of Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor KuolFormer South Sudanese Minister of Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor Kuol
x
Former South Sudanese Minister of Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor Kuol
Former South Sudanese Minister of Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor Kuol
“Because... this conflict started in the party, it started in the SPLM -- the SPLM political bureau -- it’s an issue of a lack of democracy within the party,"  Deng said.

Luk said the former detainees were invited to participate in the talks by the South Sudan government and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is mediating the talks.

IGAD organizers were not on hand to explain how the detainees would be integrated into the talks. But a spokesman for the anti-government side, Lul Ruai Koang, said the presence of the seven as a third party will  make the negotiations more complicated.

"They are saying they are going to take part in the talks. I do not know what issues they are going to negotiate on and with which party," he said.

Former South Sudanese Justice Minister John Luk JokFormer South Sudanese Justice Minister John Luk Jok
x
Former South Sudanese Justice Minister John Luk Jok
Former South Sudanese Justice Minister John Luk Jok
The seven detainees-turned-negotiators were held for more than a month before they were released last month to the custody of the authorities in Kenya.

Four SPLM leaders, including former Secretary General Pagan Amum, remain in prison.

The government has said it plans to charge them and three others, including Machar,  who are either in hiding or outside the country, with treason for launching what the government has said was a coup. All of the detainees and political figures who are in hiding or have fled South Sudan deny having anything to do with an alleged coup bid in South Sudan.

Anti-government negotiators threatened to boycott the second round of peace talks, which got off to a halting start this week, unless the political detainees were freed. They dropped their boycott threat when IGAD mediators promised them that the seven former detainees would be allowed to travel to the talks from Nairobi.

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
February 14, 2014 5:47 PM
If the Kiir faction had any sense of decency by now they should have stopped making coup claims or threats to prosecute those they held on coup allegations. It has been very widely debunked that there was a coup attempt but a scheme by Kiir ,friends and allies to frame opponents and thus eliminate them from positions as they pose a threat to his project to cling to power based on regional models he wishes to copy from some of his mentors.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid