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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid