News / Africa

Threats Unhelpful to Resolve South Sudan Crisis, Says Machar Ally

South Sudan
South Sudan
Peter Clottey
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni says East African nations have warned South Sudan’s  former vice president Riek Machar to comply with a ceasefire or face action by regional nations.

But, Rebecca Nyandeng, an ally of Mr. Machar and widow of John Garang, the founder of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party, says threats from regional leaders are unlikely to help resolve the country’s security situation.

“I don’t see it as a good way to resolve the problem in South Sudan because it will be like the region is going to South Sudan and fight with only one ethnic group or tribe in South Sudan,” said Nyandeng. “Negotiation is a better settlement and then the release of those [people] that the president has promised to release them, is the best way

Ms. Nyandeng, who is currently receiving medical treatment in Kenya following a brief period of house arrest, says it is important for people to acquaint themselves with the complexities of South Sudan’s society to be better equipped to help resolve the country’s challenges.

“This problem in South Sudan is a complex situation and needs to be tackled with a lot of care and a lot of education. People need to be educated about the situation in South Sudan,” said Nyandeng.

Regional leaders are pressing for face-to-face talks between President Salva Kiir and Machar by December 31.

Kiir announced he is willing to hold negotiations with Machar without preconditions. But, Machar insists he will only engage in talks if all the arrested members of the party are released. 

The government proposed a ceasefire Friday, saying it would release eight of 11 senior politicians arrested over an alleged coup plot against President Kiir.

South Sudan Information Minister Michael Makuei told Reuters two of the imprisoned politicians were released but Machar “has not done anything.”

Some observers say Machar’s conditional demand could undermine efforts to help resolve the crisis through dialogue. Nyandeng disagreed.

“I see that it is one of the solutions [because] if this group is released then they would be able to help. Because those [people] were reformists they wanted to reform the party. The president has accepted to release them, and if he releases them they would be part of the solution to the problem,” said Nyandeng. “So, I don’t see it as a condition, but a reality, which will help the process of dialogue.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called for the prosecution of perpetrators of human rights violations in south Sudan.

Nyandeng says she backs the prosecution call after the resolution of the crisis.

“I will agree with that because we want a free South Sudan where people are free mentally, free socially, and also free politically,” said Nyandeng.

“I will not accept any leader who will come to South Sudan and oppress [the people]… we will not accept that. So, let the law take its cause after the bloodshed is stopped and our people are secure then the investigation of human rights [violations] will come in so anybody can face the law.”

Clottey interview with Rebecca Nyandeng, John Garang's widow
Clottey interview with Rebecca Nyandeng, John Garang's widowi
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Comment Sorting
by: Denis from: Uganda
January 01, 2014 3:17 AM
Such conflicts in newly independent states are some times a necessary evil in Africa. Populations unburry their long burried batches once and for all and what happens there after is long lasting peace and prosperity. Just like flowers blossom during first rains following long painful draughts. Look at Rwanda as an example after the genocide. And post apatheid south africa.

by: marvin from: geria
December 31, 2013 8:58 PM
People should not use the name of democracy to divide south sudan.We went through wars in that country and RIK wants to use his selfish interest of becoming the president to bring in ethnic struggle into the conflict. I admire the Pan Africanist policy of Museveni in the crisis.We need to send in African troops to prevent the rebels from instigating ethnic killings further.

by: Peter Mukhebi from: Nairobi, Kenya
December 31, 2013 10:49 AM
The Ugandan president is trying to spread what i would call "musevenism" - that kind of philosophy of oppression and dictator ship. he is not only in Sudan, he has been very busy giving tuition lessons to the Kenyan president on how to "rule" ( muzzle the media, exhibit arrogance, and all other chest-thumping antics). Sudan's problem is very complicated and delicate. Only the Sudanese themselves (with the help of regional and international partners) will get the answer to their problems. Museveni has no business taking his forces to Sudan - that is tantamount to taking sides in the conflict. there are more recognized entities such as AU and UN who can handle the military intervention BUT not a person who has oppressed his own people and now he is like a loose canon all over the region - DRC, Kenya, S Sudan and so on breath vitriol.
In Response

by: Ronald marwora from: kisii kenya
December 31, 2013 3:01 PM
You don't know what you are talking about, you are very ignorant my friend. Have you been to Kampala? or Juba? the two cities are not Madrid spain, you are in Madrid and we are here in Africa. We don't Riek machar and his wars and killing machines, we need peace even if in dictatorship, we need Lapsset, We need trade, Manufacturing, we need EA intact. not silly wars.

by: Mom from: Anchorage
December 31, 2013 2:51 AM
Ugandan have to stay away from SS. The president is doing the killing in Juba, he want to clean up one tribe (Nuer) this is the act of hitler.

by: nyaakmachar from: south sudan
December 30, 2013 9:05 PM
ugandan president put his dirty hand on south sudan. International community should take action against maseveni. It unlawfull to interfer millitarily on other country problem. With out dialogue the situation will be worse than expected

by: Anonymous
December 30, 2013 8:57 PM
threat is not a solution

by: Charles Amaya from: Torit south sudan
December 30, 2013 5:02 PM
Hahahha museveni is now the president of south sudan..i hav never experience this in my life a cock coming from no where to make an alarm in someone house what a shame to ugandans.. we don't want the IGAT to intervence in our internal problem, what is the woork of African union and the united nation?? Pliz let president Museveni stay away from this issue ...enought is enought with ditatorial system of ruling in our youngest nation south sudan and this was intrducing to our president by Museveni...if the igat want to solve the problem but once one side refuse let them not solve it through military because it will wrsen the situation let them leave us to solve our problem alone....pliz East African leaders stop confusing our president.
In Response

by: ahmednoor from: minneapolis, mn
December 31, 2013 8:52 PM
SS need to solve the problem with themselves, I agree with help throu United nations and AU. SS is luck getting UN sent army to intervene fighting. I wish Somali had the attention during the beginning of Somali war 1988 which is stilling contuse as today. however, as Somalilanders, I will give advice SS to go Somaliland and found the way Somaliland disarm militant and bring difference ethnics to government to build Somaliland

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