African leaders demand immediate end to South Sudan violence

Published: 9 June 2014

In response to the Letter from African Leaders to Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, Oxfam’s Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said:

“This letter, signed by 14 eminent African leaders, 12 of them former heads of state and government, shows that leaders of this continent are no longer prepared to sit by and watch the humanitarian catastrophe continue to unfold in South Sudan. In the letter, these leaders say it is unconscionable that Salva Kiir and Riek Machar could allow the unravelling of the very unity and optimism that prevailed when South Sudan gained its independence almost three years ago, rather than shepherding their young nation to peace, prosperity and stability.

"The letter was delivered to Salva Kiir and Riek Machar ahead of their meeting today, where they are expected to evaluate the implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement and agree on a path forward out of this current bloody conflict. In no ambiguous terms, it demands an immediate end to the violence and calls on them to act as great leaders should – in the interests of their people.

“The continent’s leaders have spoken out against what is happening in South Sudan today, and they cannot be ignored.”

Notes to editors

The Letter was signed by the following dignitaries and sent to Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, ahead of their planned meeting today in Addis Ababa:

  • HE Pierre Buyoya, Former President of the Republic of Burundi and High Representative of the African Union for Mali and the Sahel     
  • HE Joaquim Chissano, Former President of the Republic of Mozambique and Former Chairperson of the African Union    
  • HE Kenneth Kaunda, Former President of the Republic of Zambia   
  • HE Sylvie Kinigi, Former President of the Republic of Burundi     
  • HE John Kufuor, Former President of the Republic of Ghana and Former Chairperson of the African Union     
  • HE Sir Quett Ketumile Joni Masire, Former President of the Republic of Botswana     
  • HE Benjamin William Mkapa, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania     
  • HE Dr Bakili Muluzi, Former President of the Republic of Malawi    
  • HE Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania     
  • HE Samuel Nujoma, Former President of the Republic of Namibia    
  • HE Abdoulie Janneh, Former United Nations Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)     
  • Hon. Gertrude Mongella, Former Speaker of the Pan-African Parliament and Former UN Under-Secretary and Special Envoy to the Secretary General of the United Nations on Women's Issues and Development     
  • HE Salim Ahmed Salim, Former Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, Former Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity, Member of the AU Panel     
  • HE Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Honorary Mem

Contact Information

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Oxfam
Mobile: +254 731 859 413
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