News / Africa

'We Want to End This War,' Released South Sudan Politician Says

Former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum speaks to reporters after a South Sudanese judge released him and three others who were detained more than four months ago for allegedly attempting a coup.
Former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum speaks to reporters after a South Sudanese judge released him and three others who were detained more than four months ago for allegedly attempting a coup.
Pagan Amum, one of four South Sudanese political figures released last week after spending four months in jail for allegedly plotting to oust President Salva Kiir, said Monday he is not bitter about his long detention and will devote his energy to ending the violence in the country.

"We want to end this war," Amum told South Sudan in Focus host John Tanza in an interview.

"Having been released, we have no bitterness, but we are full of hope and love and forgiveness and we want to engage with these brothers to end this war and resolve the problems of our country through dialogue," he said.


Conflict has ethnic overtones


Amum said the conflict, which began in December as a political rift between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar, has "unfortunately taken an ethnic dimension."

"People are dying and innocent people are suffering," Amum said.
This is not the time to judge. It's a time to stop the bleeding.


"There are now very clear signs of massacres that have been taking place and the trend of a sectarian split," he said. "This must be brought to an end... Otherwise, it will destroy this young nation."

Amum was one of 11 members of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) who were detained in mid-December after fighting broke out in Juba, before rapidly spilling over into other parts of the country.

Kiir said the clashes in Juba were an attempted coup led by Machar, who went into hiding when the unrest erupted.

Seven of the 11 so-called political detainees were freed in late January, after the warring sides signed a cessation of hostilities pact and agreed to expedite the release of the detained politicians.

But Amum and three others -- former security minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former deputy defense minister Majok D'Agot Atem, and former envoy for southern Sudan to the United States, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth -- remained in jail, and in March were taken to court for hearings to determine if they had committed treason.

They were released last week, with the government saying it had set them free to promote the peace effort for the country.  Amum said the case against the four had fallen apart. 


Priority is 'to stop thiswar'


Amum said his priority now is to "stop this war" and help to heal the "very serious wounds that have been inflicted on the nation."

"Later on, we will investigate and bring out the truth. But this is not the time to judge. It's a time to stop the bleeding," Amum said.

To listen to the entire interview, click on the link below.
 

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: boro from: juba
April 30, 2014 6:33 AM
Thanks pagan amum for conveying awise message of stopping war .i hope you will work for peace & reconcilation for better south sudan .


by: COS from: Juba-south sudan
April 30, 2014 4:33 AM
I thank Hon Pagan Amum for his message of peace and forgiveness.Though they were arrested and detente,they or their supporters should not feel bad because it was going to be more worse than Riek rebellion who is gaining support mostly from Nuer youths.Ask me why?He was going to mobilise all shuluku kingdom as well as other politicians go for Great Equatoria Kingdom and Dinka Kingdom.Thank God their eyes were made blind not to escape for four months and now release but unfortunately found the ground is full of blood of the innocent citizens who even one south Sudanse pound have not eaten from those who claim or heading we are going to wrong direction or right direction.


by: Name withheld from: Juba
April 30, 2014 4:17 AM
I agree with Pagan that this is not time to judge. Judging and blaming must wait. Stoppage of the killing must be done at all cost. If the four and seven want to participate in resolving this conflict, they must take a side of the two negotiating team. It is also not time to be neutral.


by: Sam Dave from: USA
April 29, 2014 9:03 PM
Yes I believe you and three others with you in jail plus seven detainees had been released. You guys are the bridge between Mr. Kiir and Mr. Machar conflicts. I believe if you and three others didn't stay in jail that long, this war can't reached four months. Now, I hope the war will not reach other four months again. You right, this is not the time to judge. It is the time to stop South Sudan's crisis. Time to start to love, faithful, forgiveness, and also this is time for no tribalism, nepotism, corruption, and President and former Vice president none self interests. You're the leaders. May God bless South Sudan.


by: Mario from: Nakuru-Kenya
April 29, 2014 3:38 PM
The government of Republic of South Sudan is trying to forgive and work with people. If Hon Pagan Amum is had agree to end this war plus his colleagues they should joint the peace process in Ethiopia to tell the fact to both side, government and Rebels but the have to part of one side.


by: Human Eaters from: Nairobi
April 29, 2014 12:14 PM
I have seen the future of Pagan Amum as he trying to bring peace after months in the jailed and message is very clear to us as citizens of South Sudan.
This nation need patient, pain, love, forgiveness, faith, encourages, security etc despite the little bitterness we have gone through for short period of time.
If Riak Machar have ears, he will hear what has been said Hon Pagam Amum.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid