Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Interviewed by Press TV: Sudanese Need Viable, Sustainable Ceasefire: Journalist
Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:2PM

To watch this interview just click on the website below:

Press TV has interviewed Abayomi Azikiwe, an editor with the Pan-African News Wire from Detroit, about a UN report on a ceasefire in South Sudan.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: It seems, as the UN has also said, this truce is holding; however, since these sporadic periods of violence broke in 2013, when hundreds of lives got lost, it seems that we're regressing to square one very often when it comes to South Sudan.

Azikiwe: South Sudan has not proved to be a viable nation-state. We're looking at the dire circumstances the 4.8 million people, i.e. approximately 40 percent of the overall population, is facing. The fighting between the two main rival factions within the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and of course the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and opposition has of course complicated the capacity of the government as well as humanitarian agencies to provide assistance to those who need it tremendously.

The situation is so bad in some of the northern areas that an estimated hundreds of thousands of people have crossed over into the Republic of Sudan, a country in which the leaders of the SPLA, SPLM have fought for 30 years to bring about their own independence.

Press TV: Right now, Mr. Azikiwe, what is the solution here then? It seems that as many have pointed out that the leaders of South Sudan are putting their own personal interests above that of the nation. What needs to change here then?

Azikiwe: They need to work out a viable and sustainable ceasefire agreement. There's been talks for months to try to resolve the latest eruption of this conflict, which developed, as you mentioned, in December of 2013. Riek Machar, the vice president, who represents the Sudan People's Liberation Army in opposition returned to the capital of Juba several months ago. Nonetheless, fighting broke out between the military forces of the two rival factions.

It was reported that there were those within the SPLA- IO wanted to a stage a coup against Riek Machar and he has denied that, but these are some of the complicating factors involved. We have to work out some type of an agreement that can be monitored. It may take time. They cannot be in a rush. This latest pause and fighting is positive, but it has to go beyond these initial stages.

Press TV: There are some who have called for a more Western involvement in the development of South Sudan's infrastructure and economy. Do you see that is conducive to peace?

Azikiwe: Not necessarily, the West has backed the Republic of South Sudan from its beginning prior to that during the war against the Republic of Sudan government in Khartoum. The US, Israel and other Western powers backed the secessionists. At this point, they do not have the resources to invest on a mass level inside the country. And so the United Nations is there, but their role is extremely limited.

No comments: