LATEST: South Sudan rebel leader says government derailing peace talks

FROM Reuters: Goran TOMASEVIC, Jonglei State, JAN/31/2014, SSN;

(Reuters) – South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar accused the government on Friday of ethnic cleansing and trying to sabotage peace talks, in his first face-to-face interview since fighting erupted late last year in Africa’s youngest nation.

Dressed in dark green military fatigues and speaking to Reuters in his bush hideout, Machar branded President Salva Kiir a discredited leader who had lost the people’s trust and should resign.

Thousands have been killed and more than half a million have fled their homes since fighting erupted in the capital Juba in mid-December and spread quickly across the oil-producing nation, often following ethnic lines.

The two sides signed a ceasefire on January 23 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, but each has accused the other of breaking it.

“Salva Kiir has committed atrocities in Juba, he has engaged in ethnic cleansing and he is still involved in the process,” Machar said.

His comments highlighted the gulf between the sides, who are meant to resume their troubled peace talks in Ethiopia next week. Regional and world powers are worried fighting could break out again and spill over into neighboring states.

South Sudan’s justice minister said this week that former vice president Machar and six of his closest allies should face treason charges, accusing him of trying to launch a coup.

“I am not aware of why we should face those charges for an alleged coup that never happened,” Machar said. “(It) is another attempt to stop peace talks.”

Machar has regularly denied starting the violence or trying to seize power, and has accused the president of taking advantage of an outburst of fighting between rival groups of soldiers to round up political rivals.

The United Nations and rights groups say both warring sides have committed atrocities, in a conflict that has taken the country to the brink of civil war. The government and rebels both accuse each other of ethnically motivated killings.

Human Rights Watch said earlier this month that government SPLA forces had targeted civilians from Machar’s Nuer group in Juba early on in the conflict, while rebel forces had butchered members of Kiir’s Dinka tribe in other towns.

GUNS AND LAUNDRY

In Machar’s bush camp, hidden in the thorny scrub of South Sudan’s vast Jonglei state which has untapped oil reserves, assault rifles stood propped up against a tree and laundry hung drying in the branches.

Nearby, Machar’s wife Angelina Teny, a former mining and energy minister in the united Sudan before the South seceded in 2011, was typing on a laptop in front of her tent.

The rebel leader said Kiir had lost the support of the country’s 11 million people. Asked what he wanted from the peace talks, Machar, who was sacked by Kiir in July, said he had no interest in being reinstated as vice president.

“It would be best for Kiir to resign. We are due for elections in 2015. Before the elections there would be an interim government,” Machar said, declining to say who might lead it.

Machar blamed the army for the ceasefire violations. The army was, he said, battling to extend its control outside the towns of Malakal and Bentiu, near the country’s main oil fields, and Bor, scene of some of the heaviest clashes.

Regional leaders said on Friday they aimed to deploy the first members of a team to monitor the shaky ceasefire at the weekend.

Even so, obstacles still lie in the way of the peace talks re-starting on time.

Four of the six senior political figures accused of treason alongside Machar are in detention in Juba. Machar pressed for their release after the government on Wednesday freed seven other detainees, but declined to say if he would call back his negotiators if the government refused.

“It will not be an inclusive peace process if they’re not there. A non-inclusive process would hurt the people of Sudan,” he said.

Machar said Kiir had only survived the uprising because Uganda’s military had intervened. Uganda has admitted its army provided air and ground support to Kiir’s troops, raising concerns among diplomats that the wider region could be sucked into the conflict.

“If it was not for the interference of the Ugandans, we would be in Juba now,” Machar said.

Asked if that meant he would be in power, he replied: “Not necessarily, but Kiir wouldn’t have been president.”

(Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

31 Comments

  1. Pan says:

    Delusional, bloodthirsty sociopath like all the rest of them.

  2. jay johnson says:

    ” If it was not for interference of Uganda, we would be in Juba now,” Machar said.

    Well, if it was not for Omer El Bashir in 1991, Riek Machar could have been captured by SPLA/M Torit of John Garang. He could have been fired squad and his soul would have probably been burnt to ashes in the hell.
    nevertheless, Machar days are numbered and he knew that which is why he decided not go to Akobo or Nasir towns but instead, choose the bushes of upper Nile region. From a mansion to a bush!!!! Greed in deed

    Well the heavy rains of upper Nile region are 2 months away and it is time for Riek Machar Puot Nyuon to think of where he would sheltered from those torrential rains when times arrives. perhaps, and perhaps there is a wishful thinking on his part for instigating the coup and subsequent rebellion. miscalculation is dangerous and regrettable thing in life.

    Mr. Machar have assume that it would be easy to overthrow a democratically government but it have proven otherwise. Someone who want to become a president of the a free nation like south sudan would have condemn the killing of civilian on both sides. He would have call for accountability from his generals for what happen in Bor county and town.

    But as I have been telling my fellow citizens for years, the man is a believer of magic and he have prove himself to be nothing less than a paramount chief of Adok Nuer.

    Well, Gat Machar Puot, cie niin ku ci ke thuo ( your days are numbered), whether there is peace or not. we will either put you behind bar for the rest of your live or sent you to hell where you rightly belong

  3. Mohd Adam says:

    Killer Machar and Nyandeng Teny, all, prophets of doom. Come back home, all we know is that you want the position of the VP for the rest of your life. Go to heal man, when you ran away from your base at 107 or mia saba area in Juba, on 17.12.13, there was no single Ugandan soldier here. The same SPLA forces that kicked you out of Juba on that day are still in Juba and would not allow you to grab power, the way you grabbed the Bari land on Yei road and in 107 areas.

    • Kidepo says:

      Mohamed Adam-

      You only know the land grabbed by the Nuer at Yei Juba roa. How about the lands grabbed by 99% of dinkas all over Juba, Nimule, yei, Kaya, Nadapal, Shiluk land, and all other areas belonging to non dinkas in the RSS.

    • Gatwech Kuan says:

      You talked like animal, this time if it was not because of Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF), I believed that Dr. Machar forces would be in Juba right now. your stupid uneducated leader with his selfish people Dinka, would pray deeply and ask one day if the Machar come to power what will happen next? your time is up now and I am sure that your president and his husband Museveni will be hell accountable for the killing of innocent children, women and unarms Youth from Nuer societies. we can not blame Dinka because it is their background, they kill people where there is plenty of food. the Arabs war did not kill any single Dinka because they always occupied the place of food. stupid Dinka, please don’t forget that, the Idea of self-determination came from Dr.Machar and his fellow Nuer citizens. shut up your mouth and wait until the end of this war. one day you guys will end up living in Uganda permanently. if you are very brave men enough, why did you involve Uganda in this conflict while the government is under your control? all the materials, money and weapons. still you run away even though your stupid president who does not know how to write down his name will end up in the heaven.

  4. Col. G. Yuoi Latjor says:

    Dr. Riek

    Your hand is full of Nuer Lou’s blood innocently killed as defenders of Ngundeng prophecy! Your highest education attained is a curse to our community. You never reason and make your case convincing to supporters who could sympathize for your cause.

    You all the time do dangerous move yourself, thing that kills innocent people. Seeing videos of poor Nuer citizens killed in Bor holding Pangas and other swords to counter the National Army fully trained and well equipped is better example of how extermination is sole decision. You did this in 1991 and our people face real isolation similar to December 15, 2013.

    Our Innocent Nuer kids and elderly die in UNMISS camps every day and you do not open your mouth to the International Community to do something to rectify the deadly situation. Instead, you continue to utter voice of wanting leadership that has failed.

    How would we Nuer help you? When will you understand Nuer’s sympathy of standing with you all the time? Do the Nuer people support you because you stood for something better? Please consider your our suffering. we can be in the Republic of South Sudan’s army but the stigma you have subjected our community to will never ever be forgotten.

    You have lost your intellectuals working in your office and those Nuer citizens advising you like me. in 1991, in Nasir, you stood before us and announced you have defected from the SPLA and that you will stand with Nuer’s cause! What has happened after this was to leave your people between the SPLA and Nasir and you ran to Khartoum for self-protection.

    many of our Nuer young men with decent ranks died as a result of retaliation directed to them in Equatoria and other parts of Bhar El Ghazal. The same thing are likely to repeat themselves. Are you not tired. Did I not advise you to seek opinion from thers than to do dangerous thing yourself?

    Dinkas and Shiluk politicians in detention lied to you that they were ready to fight alongside you. did they do that? When will you learn Dr. Riek? Please advise the The INTl Com to bring foods to our people languishing in UNMISS camps and try to come and rejoin the SPLA. Your vision cannot be brought to light by one tribe Nuer.

  5. Jonit Me says:

    Kiir must go.

  6. Jonit Me says:

    Kiir must go. Kiir is not a good president he would have not broght Udandan troops to kill S Sudanese. Who not S Sudanese Nuer or Dinka?

  7. My country men and women, we already know the Riak Machar Teny, the womenizer, and pologamy man, as he is the most dictator ever than Kiir as he is saying so.
    Nothing on Riak on what he claiming to reform the policy to create democratic atomospher in the country, it is absolutely wrong.
    If he is claiming to Kiir to step down, then the another president will be not Riak, he will be someone who is not sharing the chain of protocol in the government.
    I cann’t dream of Riak Machar to be the president of the Republic of South Sudan.

  8. Beek says:

    Machar will never ever rule South Sudan never.

  9. Beek says:

    Question should have being asked that.Why Hacking had stopped since Machar left.Why SPLM behaved like children? Big people like John Garang,Riek Machar and likes thought they are Messiahs.Why SPLM is very bad Internally and Kind Externally?

    • Pan says:

      All the right questions, Beek! We should all keep asking them. They all smile and grin with Whites, Bankers and Sheikhs while selling the people down the river. Real slave makers. Just watch in 20 years we will realize that a liberation never even took place.

  10. Beek says:

    Just sit under ACACIA TREES for good,nobody want you back again.

  11. Bentiu today says:

    Jay Johnson
    where will your kirr and M7 go when Machar powerful supporters come up after 7/2/2014,
    my dear machar has powerful supporters who are just waiting for the expired date 7 of this month you will see IGAD war soon, believe me if you think Uganda is only powerful than you are wrong” other IGAD countries that host peace talk are not happy of Uganda involvement.

  12. Dear comrade Riak Machar,
    the atrocities you did in 1991 and 2013 will not promote you to rule people of south sudan particularily Dinkas and rests of the tribes you have killed. When you come to be president, make sure that you are ruling your tribe only Nuers and other minority tribes in south sudan republic.

  13. Brig-gen Gatluak Riek Jack says:

    For those of you who are supporting stupid president let me tell you with UPDF or not Kiir is going no one will be able to stop us, just a matter of time it won’t take us a year we will capture Kiir alive or dead.

  14. Thon Giei says:

    Dear, Col. G. Latjour:
    I call you dear despite the sea of blood that Riek Machar has poured in the name of Nuers in South Sudan. I am just coming from a camp of people displaced by senseless and meaningless war that is MR. Riek is waging, not on Salva Kiir forces, but on the innocent Dinka people in Bor, Baliet, Khorfluos, Akoka and Panrieng. Kiir is living in Juba and his home state is warrap. Why does not Riek forces attack Juba and Warrap. Riek is confused and confused. He described himself as a rebel leader. But he denied involvement in the attempted coup. He demanded Kiir to resign. but he denied involvement in a coup.
    He says that he is pro-democracy, but leads a rebel movement. What a confusion. The world is not idiot. Dr. Riek lies will never last long and his movement is going to vanish soon.

  15. Mohd Adam says:

    In 1991, the slogan was: Garang must Go!
    In 2013′ the slogan is: Kiir must Go!
    In 2014 the slogan must be Riek/Nyandeng must Go!

    South Sudan under Kiir is a democratic entity, if Kiir is to go, it must be through the ballot, but not the bullet. 2014 is the year for Nyandeng and her boy friend Riek plus their adapted son Mabior Nyandeng to Gooooo!!!

    • Kidepo says:

      At least you can differenciate between balot and bullets but can Kiir and dinka differenciate this……..no. Kiir would have not fabricate a coup to incriminate Dr Riek if understands what a balot and democracy is

  16. Chol Awek says:

    Friends

    I have seen most of you don’t understand the current politic around South Sudan conflict, thus lead all of you to say anything you feel like. Kiir is no longer a president if you were to be critical about the current politic and this might not be understand by Money lovers putting their own interest before the nation.

    Friend like Jay Johnson who is currently using fake name will say anything for him to survive; what a fuck life is that?? UN security council along with US have poured all their effort to help the younger nation by convening the president to release and accept all the posible demand for the sack of peace and he refused. finally the decision will be the president to step aside if not all the foreign troops including Uganda will pull out and Kiir will go to hell with his Country and that will give clear message to all South Sudanese that their Country is among the dailed state.

    It is my surprised to see some comments by few friend denyin the fact that, without Uganda airforce and ground force Kiir would have gone; is that true?? No one on earth who can denied this unless the if you are still in your mother worm. again some few friends insisted by saying Riek will not lead this Country. in what way when Uganda troops are going away?? you might be right to said this as the original agreement was to go upto mid 2015, but too old and need update as far as the currently political interest is concern.
    M7 have no more rooms in South Sudan and he will face it as individual and as well as Ugandan as nation will pay the consequency of their intervention in South Sudan affairs.

    Good Luck friends hope this enough for the day.

    • jay johnson says:

      Chol Awek,

      I appreciate the reinforcement from our long time ally, the Uganda Defense forces. In fact they fought the jallaba along side the SPLA during the liberation struggle. So the government invite the UPDF to prevent anarchist and traitors from overthrowing a democratically elected government.

      The Uganda were with us when most of Nuer warlords and militias, including the greatest traitor, Riek Machar were bought by the NIF regime with oil money from your own region. It is time to give credit where it is due.

      I mean, south sudan was not liberated by all communities. come on my friend . What towns were liberated by white army and Anya Nya II from Jalaba. Just name one and I will apologize immediately. Who clear the villages of western upper Nile from its inhabitants to facitilate oil exploration and development during the late 1990s?

      Was it not the powerful militias of Late Paulino Matip Nhial? What about such Nuer war lords, like Saddam chayot ( Gajaak), Gatwich Dual ( Rumajok Lou), Tanganyie ( Laak), Mabor Dhol ( Lou) , Gai Tut ( Lou) and late Gatluak Gai ( Jagei)? were they not fighting the SPLA who brought the independent you now enjoy, along side NIF forces?

      The Uganda helped the SPLA during the liberation of pollataka, Magwi, Kit, Parajok and Ashwa for instance. While the Nuer war lords help the Jalaba to recaptured Torit (2002), Kapoeta, Bor and even Akobo.

      Why blame the Uganda when the war lords of upper nile region want to take back the country to war for unverifiable 100 years Ngundeng prophecy of left handed and wide gap teeth black Turuk. I am waiting to see if this prophecy will be fulfill in my life time. Was he ( Riek Machar), the prophesize left handed black Turuk?

  17. jijury says:

    To the so called Col. G. Yuoi Lajor and Jay Johnson both of you are out of touch. Kiir’s days in Juba are numbered. Worse is yet to come! stay tuned!

  18. Beek says:

    Sleepy guy like Riek Machar at least had no BOOTS on!

  19. Pan says:

    You made me laugh, Beek, thanks. In this looney bin of a country one has to laugh now and then. To the author from Reuters: there is no such thing as a hidden bush camp in this age of drones. Riak’s tree doesn’t even have any leaves to cover him. He’s hardly hidden. I want to see him run in those bath slippers.

  20. Awan Moses Biar says:

    I thank our Lord God of Isrealite for being guard new nation from looters group of Nuers white fack arm. This piece of land was give to us by God not ngundeng magic, when we were struggle I never see ngundeng prophet arms to help us during the war time. If Riek Machar relying on satan you will never rule this country in your life. My dear advise you ,you dying in bush like a dog, excepting your guilty and report yourself on ICC you have to confessing your sins on Dinka court of law.

    Nyandeng Teny
    Adopting son Mabior Riek Machar
    Tut Majak a Got Teny
    You will face penalty of mass killing in Bortown this is city of God lor.d .

  21. Ring LoKen says:

    KIIR MUST GO; RIEK MARCHAR MUST GO. BOTH HAVE SQUANDERED SOUTH SUDAN MONEY. RIEK ONLY COMPLAINED AFTER HE WAS FIRED BUT WHEN THEY WERE COLLABORATING IN CORRUPTION THEY WERE TWO GOOD BUDDIES. NOW THAT HE IS OUT, HE IS CALLING KIIR ILLEGITIMATE PRESIDENT. LAND GRABBING, MONEY LAUNDERING WERE DONE BY BOTH SO KIIR AND RIEK SHOULD NEVER RULE S.SUDAN. IF THE NUER WANT TO RULE LET THEM COME UP WITH INCLUSIVE VISION FOR SOUTH SUDAN; IF THE DINKA WANT TO RULE LET THEM COME UP WITH FRESH INCLUSIVE VISION FOR S.SUDAN. PEACE LOVING DINKAS;PEACE LOVING NUER MUST FORGET THE TWO: KIIR AND RIEK RESPECTIVELY. LET US BEGIN A NEW CHAPTER. YOU CANNOT PUT NEW WINE IN OLD WINE SKINS. DO NOT JUST SUPPORT ANY SIMPLY BECAUSE HE IS YOUR TRIBE. WE NEED NEW BLOOD. THERE ARE MANY SMART DINKA AS WELL AS SMART NUER. KIIR AND RIEK ARE NOT THE ONLY GIFTED LEADERS AMONG YOU.

  22. Col. G. Yuoi Latjor says:

    Dr. Riek is a good person when it comes to social understanding. But he is always wrong in his plans. This is could be a curse

  23. Daniel Juol Nhomngek says:

    I think Dr. Riek does not know what is talking about it was due to his shortsightedness that results into death of many people in Juba. As a reasonable, person he should have never planned the coup in such a sensitive place and time. His greed for power made him blind from even seeing the welfare of the people of South Sudan.

  24. Chol ateny chol says:

    U will see in this month dinka

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