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

    Greenpeace Leak: US-EU Trade Deal Would Favor Corporations

    Activist group leaks classified documents to 'shine a light' on talks that could create the world's largest bilateral trade and investment pact

    Video Ethiopia's Drought Takes Toll on Children

    East African country’s crops failed in 2015, creating food shortages for 10 million – including 6 million children whose development may be compromised

    What Your First Name Reveals About Who You Vote For

    People named Chad are more likely to be Republicans and Jonathans are usually Democrats

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora