S Sudan FM vows accountability for all behind violence

2014-02-13 09:06
South Sudanese troops loyal to President Salva Kiir pictured at Bor airport after they re-captured it from rebel forces. (Samir Bol, AFP)

South Sudanese troops loyal to President Salva Kiir pictured at Bor airport after they re-captured it from rebel forces. (Samir Bol, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - South Sudan's foreign minister warned on Wednesday that all those behind the recent violence would be held accountable, regardless of ethnic origin, as he announced the arrests of about 100 army officers from President Salva Kiir's Dinka ethnic group.

"We will equally hold accountable those who got engaged in targeting, killing, trying to use the ethnic card, definitely within the organised forces," Barnaba Marial Benjamin told reporters during a visit to London.

"A good number of officers have been arrested - about 100 who were engaged in this - of the Dinka members within the army who targeted the Nuer community [of former vice-president Riek Machar]. They will be held accountable."

British Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds, who met Benjamin earlier on Wednesday, welcomed this assurance and stressed the need for a "credible and independent process to provide accountability".

Thousands of people have been killed in South Sudan in the last two months in fighting pitting soldiers loyal to President Kiir against a loose coalition of army defectors and ethnic militia nominally led by Machar.

Many fear the conflict has slid out of the control of political leaders, with ethnic violence and revenge attacks between the Dinka people of Kiir and the Nuer of Machar, the country's two largest groups.

"There is a Dinka-Nuer ethnic sort of fight," Benjamin acknowledged, but said it was "in a limited zone, it is within the national army as well as the rebel army. It is not among the citizens".

New round of peace talks

He added: "We don't want these internal problems to look like what we see in our neighbours like Central Africa."

The minister said his government was "completely determined and committed" to the 23 January ceasefire, which has been repeatedly violated.

Benjamin said that four political prisoners held in Juba since mid-December, a source of contention between the two sides, would stay behind bars until the necessary "legal processes" were complete.

If they are found guilty, he said, "it will be up to the president because our constitution gives the prerogative to the president where he can sometimes issue pardons".

At their meeting, Simmonds stressed that the new round of peace talks taking place in Ethiopia this week "must be inclusive, and have a role for those political leaders who were detained at the start of the conflict".

Responding to criticism about the presence of Ugandan troops in South Sudan, Benjamin explained they were there to drive out the Lord's Resistance Army guerrilla group.

"Ugandan forces will move out after we have completed the project, that is the elimination of the LRA in the region," he said.

Read more on:    riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at kalahari.com. while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a reactive and wilful undercurrent that flavours things today. There is a tendency to take things too personally and then...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.