News / Africa

South Sudan Rebels Say Ready for Talks to End Unrest

Backers of South Sudan's ex-Vice President Riek Machar, shown here speaking to reporters at the U.N. in July, say they are ready to meet with President Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa -- but insist that one condition be met. Backers of South Sudan's ex-Vice President Riek Machar, shown here speaking to reporters at the U.N. in July, say they are ready to meet with President Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa -- but insist that one condition be met.
x
Backers of South Sudan's ex-Vice President Riek Machar, shown here speaking to reporters at the U.N. in July, say they are ready to meet with President Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa -- but insist that one condition be met.
Backers of South Sudan's ex-Vice President Riek Machar, shown here speaking to reporters at the U.N. in July, say they are ready to meet with President Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa -- but insist that one condition be met.
Andrew Green
— Forces loyal to former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar said Thursday they are prepared to take part in talks to end violence in the world's newest nation, as the head of the U.N. Mission in the country warned that the fighting was threatening South Sudan's existence as a nation.

James Gatdet Dak, a spokesman for Machar, said the ex-vice president, who has been in hiding since the unrest broke out on Dec. 15, "made it clear that he was ready for the talks" and has already named delegates to the negotiations, which would be held in Addis Ababa.

But Machar's side insisted that, before the talks go ahead,  President Salva Kiir must release 11 political leaders who were detained when the violence first erupted -- because the detainees are part of the negotiating team chosen by the former vice president.
The nationhood painstakingly built over decades of conflict and strife is at stake.

"So President Kiir will release them, then they will be ready to go to Addis for talks,” he said.

South Sudanese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Mawien Makol Arik said the government would not agree to the request to free the 11 political leaders.

"The president is willing to go into dialogue with this faction, provided there’s no pre-condition, which would include the release of the political prisoners,” he said.

Kiir met Thursday in Juba with African officials including Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to try to chart a way out of the crisis, which erupted on Dec. 15 in what Kiir said was a failed coup orchestrated by Machar.  

South Sudan's Nationhood at Stake: UNMISS


Hilde Johnson, the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), commended the "intense and ongoing efforts of South Sudan's neighbors to seek a peaceful resolution to the current crisis" and called on the country's leaders to urgently "order their forces to lay down their arms and give peace a chance."

Hilde Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), holds a video press conference from Juba, South Sudan on Dec. 26, 2013.Hilde Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), holds a video press conference from Juba, South Sudan on Dec. 26, 2013.
x
Hilde Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), holds a video press conference from Juba, South Sudan on Dec. 26, 2013.
Hilde Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), holds a video press conference from Juba, South Sudan on Dec. 26, 2013.
"What has happened this last week has for so many South Sudanese brought back the nightmares of the past," Johnson told reporters via a video link from UNMISS headquarters in Juba.

"The nationhood painstakingly built over decades of conflict and strife is at stake. And for us, one of the most important things is to have those nightmares end," she said.

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said "the detainees who are suspects of the coup" were one of several issues discussed by Kiir and his regional counterparts.

The group of detained political leaders got a visit early this week from U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, who said they are "secure and well taken care of" and wanted "to play a constructive role in ending the crisis through peaceful political dialogue and national reconciliation."

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
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 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 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 Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
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.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid