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: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs