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

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.