Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire, to discuss the dire situation in South Sudan.
Here is a rough transcription of the interview:
Press TV: Well obviously you have a situation where people are escaping conflict but looking at the political side, I think one of the things that needs to be addressed, and I do not know if you are aware or not, are the contested region where the oil fields are located. That should somehow maybe be figured out in order for maybe the conflict to maybe smooth out because as it is there are still differences that exist between Sudan and South Sudan on that, isn’t there?
Azikiwe: Yes there are differences and it will be very difficult to work them out with the internal problems particularly in the Republic of South Sudan.
The United Nations has voted on Friday to deploy 4,000 additional peacekeeping troops. There are already 12,000 there as part of the United Nations mission in South Sudan. The government in Juba under President Salva Kiir immediately rejected this proposal. Yesterday there were reports that he is willing to discuss this with the United Nations but the border demarcation issues that remain unresolved from the partition in 2011 cannot really be effectively resolved with the internal conflict that it is going on in the south.
Press TV: Well what about the differences that exist between obviously Riek Machar and we have the former VP, there seems to be on-again, off-again agreements, is this time around however done, I mean we are seeing the continuation of friction between the two translate to violence on the ground?
Azikiwe: Yes and it is going to be very difficult in the short-term to open up negotiations. It appears as if the Vice President who was appointed by President Salva Kiir has displaced the Sudanese people’s Liberation Movement in Opposition becoming the Vice President of the country. Of course Riek Machar has gone into hiding but there have been reported clashes between the two sides over the last several days, atrocities have been reported from the military against the civilians who have been displaced.
So I think there needs to be some dialogue between President Salva Kiir and the United Nations along with the IGAD, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development as well as the African Union.