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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid