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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid