News / Africa

    South Sudan Unity Government on Hold as VP Stays Away

    FILE - South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar addresses journalists during a news conference in Nairobi, Kenya, July 8, 2015.
    FILE - South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar addresses journalists during a news conference in Nairobi, Kenya, July 8, 2015.
    Peter Clottey

    A spokesman for South Sudan's president says he is considering waiting to name a new transitional unity government until his political rival, Riek Machar, takes up his post as vice president.

    President Salva Kiir had given Machar until early Friday morning to take up his position as part of a peace accord the two signed to end months of civil war. But Machar said he would return to Juba only after the city was demilitarized, as stipulated in the agreement.

    Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said Kiir could wait to name a new transitional unity government in the interest of peace.

    Kiir "might give further time for Dr. Machar to come to Juba in order for the government of national unity to be complete," Ateny said. "This is what the people of South Sudan want. ...

    “It still remains the prerogative of the president to see the next cause of action, and he is the one to pave the way forward. So it is up to him, whether he will dissolve the [current] government and form a government or he still gives more time for Dr. Riek Machar to come.”

    The Sudan Tribune quoted James Gatdet Dak, a spokesman for Machar, as saying that without the implementation of the security arrangement in the peace agreement that includes the demilitarization of Juba, Machar would not return as demanded by Kiir.

    'Very important'

    “This is the reason we said the appointment of the first vice president was rushed and did not follow the sequence of the implementation of the peace agreement," Dak said. "Although it is in line with the provisions of the power-sharing agreement, it is a redundant action because the first vice president will not take oath of office until he arrives in Juba.

    “We will not accept this. Dr. Machar will not return to Juba until the capital is demilitarized and our forces are deployed. This is what the peace agreement says. It is for rebuilding trust as well as for protection and deterrence. Somebody has to understand that this is very important.”

    Ateny said Juba was likely to be demilitarized within the next few days. He added, however, that the formation of the transitional national unity government was well overdue.

    Supporters of Machar said the government in Juba was to blame for the delays in the formation of the government. They cited Kiir’s “unilateral” decision to establish 28 new states from the existing 10, which conflicted with the power-sharing provision in the peace accord.

    Ateny said the accusation was without merit.

    “The IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] and IGAD partners and friends of South Sudan have been urging President Kiir to form the government," he said. "Whenever there is a blame, the two sides are blamed that they are failing or dragging their feet in the formation of the government of national unity. So that’s why the president saw it appropriate to give seven days to Dr. Riek Machar to come to Juba, so that they can form the transitional unity government together.”

    He said if the vice president stayed away for more than a week, the president might be forced to form a partial government, leaving some positions open until Machar returned to Juba.

    You May Like

    Video US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Chol
    February 20, 2016 1:05 PM
    We South Sudanese citizens were expecting what could only brings us peace after Dr Riek bloody civil broke out but now as times goes,we running out of patience and we could disclosed the misery cause to us with heavy retaliatory fights on both kiir & Riek if the don't respects our wishes.

    by: Wotabo Kebede from: Nazareth, Ethiopia
    February 19, 2016 1:49 AM
    It is a pity that hundreds of thousands were displaced and several thousands died to create a position for a single person!! It is becoming one of the unfortunate countries in Africa and a hell for its citizens.

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora