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.

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.


S Sudan FM vows accountability for all behind violence

13 February 2014, 09:44

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 News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...