Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire in Detroit, about South Sudan rebels saying the army forces have violated the newly-signed ceasefire agreement. What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: These ceasefires have been broken and reinstated on a number of occasions. How is it different this time?
Azikiwe: It appeared as if both sides, the SPLM/A (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army), which is in power now in Juba as well as the SPLM-IO, in opposition, wanted to resolve this conflict. However, on the ground there have been problems in implementing this peace agreement, which is understandable because a lot of people have been dislocated in this conflict that has been going on now for nearly two years.
And the United States has been quite concerned about developments in South Sudan because they had encouraged the partition of the country. So now they are threatening sanctions against both the military leaders of the SPLM as well as the SPLM in opposition in order to pressure them to come up with some type of ceasefire that will be sustainable.
Press TV: What could be the final firm bloc to put an end to the differences between Jubani opposition in your opinion?
Azikiwe: It is very difficult. There is of course a historic division between Riek Machar, who is the former vice president, and Salva Kiir, who is the president. Even during the armed struggle for the partition of the country, which was heavily supported by Israel and the United States as well as Britain, and these problems go back to the colonial period under Great Britain prior to 1956, when Sudan got its independence, but it is going to take a lot of more involvement by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the East African bloc as well as the African Union itself.
And just to demonstrate how difficult the situation is, it was reported yesterday that 85 people died outside the capital of Juba trying to retrieve petroleum from a tanker that had broken down on the side of a road and there was an explosion. So this shows the economic impact of this ongoing internal conflict within South Sudan, not to mention the overall unsustainability of the Republic of South Sudan as a state, because now both the Republic of Sudan in the north as well as the Republic of South Sudan in the south are suffering economically as a result of the division of the country and of course this has fueled internal conflict particularly in the south.
*The video will be added soon…