News / Africa

On SPLA 30th Anniversary, Peace Eludes South Sudan

South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar calls for peace in the country in a speech delivered at the 30th anniversary celebrations of the birth of the SPLA. South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar calls for peace in the country in a speech delivered at the 30th anniversary celebrations of the birth of the SPLA.
x
South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar calls for peace in the country in a speech delivered at the 30th anniversary celebrations of the birth of the SPLA.
South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar calls for peace in the country in a speech delivered at the 30th anniversary celebrations of the birth of the SPLA.
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar called Thursday at the 30th anniversary celebration in Juba of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) for peace and reconciliation in the country, which is still being rattled by rebellions and violence.

‘’It is our collective duty to see that peace prevails in South Sudan," Machar said at the Nyakuron Cultural Center in the capital, where thousands of people gathered to celebrate the birth of the SPLA, which grew out of a mutiny at army barracks in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state.

The SPLA went on to lead a decades-long war against Khartoum, which ended in 2005 and culminated with South Sudan becoming an independent nation in 2011.

"Whoever has rebelled and taken up arms, we should try our best to convince him to accept peace. That is our responsibility. Our president announced at the opening of parliament that our country needs a national reconciliation process," Machar said.

Machar called on rebel groups, including insurgents led by David Yau Yau in Jonglei state, who have overrun the town of Boma and have threatened to launch an attack on Pibor town, to accept an offer of amnesty from President Salva Kiir.

An end to rebellions in South Sudan would help to establish peace and allow the country to move down the road to development.

"We want to concentrate our efforts, our energy, our resources on development -- development of this country.  We want to compete with other countries who are more advanced than us and catch up to them and advance even more because we have resources -- you have water, you have the forest, you have petrol, land and cattle," Machar said.

But amid the celebrations, there are problems including ongoing unrest, particularly in Jonglei state where the SPLA was spawned, and within the SPLA, which is now the army of South Sudan, some critics said.

"In areas such as Jonglei, we have a security problem that is related to rebellion," said Juba University political science professor Simon Wassara.

Banditry and other criminal activity made other areas, including Juba, unsafe, he said, adding that "a lot more needs to be done" to address chronic insecurity in South Sudan.

He called for the SPLA to be reorganized and for educational institutions to be set up to retrain rebels who agree to lay down their arms. Many former rebels are merely integrated into the army, making the SPLA a "dumping ground for rebels," said Wassara.

Brigadier Acuil Malek, who says he has been with the SPLA since the beginning of the rebellion against Khartoum, said SPLA commanders need to listen to rank and file soldiers.

"You cannot lead people you don’t see, you cannot lead people that you do not talk to,” he said, adding that the distance between officer and enlisted man in the SPLA contradicts the founding principles of the group that was being celebrated on Thursday.

Charlton Doki contributed to this story.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid