News / Africa

Kiir Urges South Sudan Youth to 'Reject Revenge'

FILE - South Sudan's President Salva Kiir speaks in the capital Juba, South Sudan, Jan. 6, 2014.
FILE - South Sudan's President Salva Kiir speaks in the capital Juba, South Sudan, Jan. 6, 2014.
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir evoked the examples of South Africa's Nelson Mandela and Rwandan President Paul Kagame as he called on the youth of his  battle-scarred country to lead the way in reconciling the nation.

"There are two African leaders who you should take their examples," Kiir said in a speech at a gathering of the youth movement of the ruling SPLM party, the first public rally he has attended since fighting broke out in mid-December.

Kiir urged South Sudanese to follow the examples of the two leaders and "reject revenge" and focus on reconciling the nation as Mandela did when he was released from prison in 1990 after being incarcerated under South Africa's apartheid regime for 27 years, and Kagame did after the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

"If we want the people to be one and we want our nation to be one, we have to sit down and say, 'Let us forget those who did this and even those who killed people'," Kiir said.

He urged South Sudan's youth not to do "something bad" just because someone else had, and to lead the reconciliation effort in the young country.

"Whether you are in Jonglei, in Upper Nile, Unity State or greater Bahr el Ghazal, forget about the people that you have lost and go back to think of how to reconcile," Kiir told the rally.

"It is your duty as the youth to take this message home that we want this thing to stop," he said.

Kiir denied reports that he or his government had singled out members of Machar's Nuer ethnic group and stressed South Sudan's tradition of forgiveness.

But he had harsh words for his main adversary in the conflict that has riven the country since December, former vice president Riek Machar.

Insisting that the unrest in South Sudan was the result of a coup bid led by Machar, Kiir called him selfish, and the clashes "unfortunate" and "uncalled for."

"He chose the time because he knows this is when he will really pull back South Sudanese," said Kiir, noting that the unrest began just weeks after hundreds of foreign investors had come to Juba for an international conference, and went away "excited" by the prospect of investing in South Sudan, only to see the country engulfed in violence.

Machar and six other members of the SPLM have all denied having anything to do with an attempt to oust Kiir. 

Machar and two other senior members of the SPLM, Taban Deng Gai and Alfred Lado Gore, who fled the country or went into hiding shortly after the unrest began, were removed last week from the ruling party.

The government has said it has enough evidence to bring charges of treason against the three men and four other members of the SPLM who have been in detention in Juba since the fighting  broke out.

Seven other SPLM members who were detained when the clashes erupted but freed more than a month later are currently in Addis Ababa, where they are acting as a third party in talks to try to reconcile the pro- and anti-government sides in the South Sudan clashes, and open a political dialogue to bring peace to the country.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: bejanybenjamin from: kampala
February 18, 2014 1:52 AM
After what mr president?
In Response

by: hussien nimir from: Kampala
February 18, 2014 7:05 AM
We support our president in peaceful solutions and politicaldailuqe,anytime anywhere.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs