News / Africa

'We Want Peace' but Kiir Must Go, South Sudan's Machar Says

  • Members of the South Sudan rebel delegation attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's peace negotiations, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
  • Taban Deng Gai, left, head of the rebel delegation and South Sudan's leader of the government delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial, attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's peace negotiations, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
  • Unidentified members of the delegation from the South Sudan government and western observers meet at the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
  • A displaced mother and her baby, one of the few to have a mosquito net, wake up at a refugee camp, Awerial, South Sudan, Jan. 2, 2014.
  • A young displaced girl carries a bucket of water back to her makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound. The compound has become home to thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Displaced people gather inside a mosquito net tent as they flee from the fighting between the South Sudanese army and rebels in Bor town, in Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 30, 2013.
  • A displaced woman hangs up laundry on the plastic sheeting wall of a latrine at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Yared, 2, is held by his mother, Madhn, who fled from the town of Bor a few days ago. She receives medicine for her child at a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical tent, at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • A young displaced boy rests on the wheel arch of a water truck while others fill containers from it, at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Africa, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • A family makes tea outside their makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • A general view of a camp for displaced people set up in a United Nations compound in Bor, South Sudan, Dec. 25, 2013.
  • South Sudan army soldiers hold their weapons as they ride on a truck in Bor, Dec. 25, 2013.

Violence in South Sudan

John Tanza
Former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar, who has been accused by President Salva Kiir of sparking the deadly violence that has rocked the world's newest nation for more than two weeks, said Wednesday he has sent a delegation to Ethiopia for peace talks.

"The mediators when they contacted me, I have sent a delegation to Addis so that this issue can be discussed. We hope the dialogue will bring about a solution," Machar told VOA News in a telephone interview from an undisclosed location.

I don't think Salva Kiir can unite the people any more.
But Machar insisted that Kiir has to step down for peace to be restored in South Sudan, where the United Nations has said it has "mounting evidence" that serious human rights abuses, including targeted ethnic killings, massive displacements and arbitrary detentions have been committed since unrest broke out on Dec.15.

"We want peace, but peace cannot be achieved under Salva Kiir Mayardit," he said.

"He has disunited the country. There's a massacre in Juba, ethnic cleansing in Juba. I don't think Salva Kiir can unite the people any more," Machar said.



The U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said that evidence it has gathered shows that South Sudanese citizens are being targeted in the fighting because they belong to Kiir's ethnic group, the Dinka, or to his former vice president Riek Machar's ethnic Nuer group.

Kiir said days ago that he would be willing to hold talks with Machar to try to end the fighting that the United Nations says has claimed at least 1,000 lives and displaced tens of thousands, but only if there are no conditions attached to the negotiations.

Machar, meanwhile, has repeatedly said that he will not enter into talks with Kiir unless he meets certain conditions, including that the president should free all 11 high-ranking members of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) party who were detained when the unrest started.

Machar said Wednesday that, although he has sent a delegation to Addis Ababa for the talks, he still wanted Kiir to free the detained SPLM party members because they were key members of the team he wanted to send to the peace talks.

A VOA reporter confirmed that delegates from Machar's side have arrived in the Ethiopian capital for peace talks, but said it was unclear if anyone from the government side had arrived.

Ethiopian government officials said the talks were unlikely to begin before Thursday, reporter Marthe van der Wolf said.



The East African bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is mediating the talks, had set a deadline of Tuesday for the two sides to come to the negotiating table to end the violence in South Sudan.

A source close to the government, who asked not to be named, said the officials who have been named to represent Kiir at the talks were unable to get a flight from Juba to Addis Ababa by the IGAD deadline, but it was impossible for VOA News to independently confirm the information.

South Sudan plunged into violence in mid-December after what Kiir said was a failed bid to oust him, orchestrated by Machar.

Machar, who was vice president of South Sudan until July, when Kiir fired him in a sweeping cabinet reshuffle, has consistently denied being behind a coup.

He went to ground immediately after the unrest broke out and said Wednesday that he would only emerge from hiding "when we attain peace."

An ally of Machar said Tuesday that fighting was still raging in parts of South Sudan, even as negotiators headed to Ethiopia to talk peace.

"There is bombardment going on... Some of the areas that are controlled by Riek Machar are being bombarded and, as I speak to you, there is fighting going on in parts of Unity state," Hussein Mar Nyuot told a news conference in Nairobi.

"So far there is no ceasefire or cessation of hostilities," said Mar Nyuot, who left his position as deputy governor of Jonglei state on Tuesday to go over to Machar's side in the conflict.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid