World Bulletin/News Desk
South Sudan's vice president, Riek Machar, dismissed on Friday rumors of a planned military coup, saying it would be "unwise" for army officers to attempt a takeover of the year-old state.
The speculation was serious enough to prompt South Sudan's President Salva Kiir to visit the headquarters of Sudan's army (SPLA) this week to warn that any successful coup leaders would be isolated internationally, according to the Sudan Tribune.
During a visit to New York to meet with potential investors, Machar laughed off the rumors of a coup as not a serious threat and said that a recently detained general had not been arrested for planning a coup, but for other issues.
"When I first heard of it, I dismissed it," he told Reuters. "The nature of the state of South Sudan is borne out of an exercise of (the) right to self-determination. ... It would be unwise for military officers to say 'there is a takeover.'"
South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in July 2011. The move came six months after a referendum agreed to under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war that left more than 2 million people dead.
Distrust between the neighbors runs deep and tensions erupted into fighting along the border in April, when South Sudan's army briefly occupied the Heglig oilfield, which is vital to Sudan's economy.
The two countries agreed late last month to set up a demilitarized border zone and resume oil exports from the landlocked south after South Sudan shut them down in a dispute with Sudan over transit fees.
The deal failed to resolve problems including where to draw the final border, what to do with the disputed Abyei area and how to end rebellions in both countries that each government blames the other for backing.
Machar said the government was working to resolve a small two-year-old revolt in eastern Jonglei state that has been further fueled by a heavy-handed government bid to collect thousands of weapons left from the civil war.
Rights groups have accused the army of shooting, torturing and raping people during the campaign.
"All those who committed atrocities were apprehended," Machar said of those allegations. "It did cause resentment. ... We are concerned about it. That area is developmentally backward. We want it to join the rest of South Sudan in development instead of being theater for conflict."
"We don't want to start a new state with a rebellion," he said of efforts to reach peace in the east.
Machar said he had been meeting with investors in New York to urge them to spend in South Sudan, one of the world's poorest countries, on agriculture to make the state the "breadbasket for East Africa."
"Our people, their expectations are so high, so great, that with the declaration of independence they want South Sudan to be at the same level with neighboring countries," he said. "This is our biggest challenge."
200 Turkish students visit several African countries as part of exchange program
Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer, head of the conservative CSU party, had openly clashed with Merkel at the height of the mass migrant and refugee influx in 2015.
Officials, who are presently in Saudi Arabia, are instructed to return to country
However Mattis appeared satisfied after what he described as an in-depth review of the policy by much of the president's cabinet and top security officials at Camp David on Friday.
Another eight people were wounded in the stabbing spree, which took place on Friday in the southwestern port city of Turku.
A coalition led by President Hashim Thaci's PDK party -- itself in power since 2007 -- topped early parliamentary polls held on June 11, but the alliance did not win the absolute majority needed to govern alone.
According to the Italian media, an extra 50 police carrying portable scanners were on duty to carry out checks on the 10,000 people who were in St Peter's square Sunday for Pope Francis's weekly Angelus prayer.
Barzani says postponement of Kurdish referendum on independence 'unlikely'
The president had flown to South Africa on Wednesday to attend a two-day regional leaders' summit in Pretoria that began Saturday -- which police said she had been expected to attend.
Local media says 3 armed men were reportedly spotted on Paris-Nimes train
Opposition protesters call for change in country's constitution, want term limits
Police said they had cast a dragnet for 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, who media reports say was the driver of a van that smashed into people on Barcelona's busy Las Ramblas boulevard on Thursday.
In perhaps the worst to date, he dealt a crushing blow to his own embattled administration by saying "both sides" were to blame for the bloodshed in Charlottesville, Virginia following a rally by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
A so-called "free speech" rally by far-right groups had been scheduled to run until 2 pm (1800 GMT), but a half-hour before that police escorted its participants -- whose numbers appeared to be in the dozens -- to safety past a throng of anti-racism protesters.
Comments appearing to trivialize racial hatred have president isolated, even within own party
The accident happened late Friday when around 650 people were celebrating inside the tent in Sankt Johann am Walde in the north of the country.