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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    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 '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 New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    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 Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    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 Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    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.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.