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."
Suriname's President Desi Bouterse is weighing his chance that Monday general elections to choose the South American country's next Parliament will keep him and his party in power for another five years.
A prison riot in Bahia, Brazil has left 8 people dead. The prison riot was reportedly triggered by inter-gang tensions
Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece have signed a trilateral agreement to establish a real-time information center dealing with border police, immigration and law enforcement.
Gilad Erdan, a senior Likud Party member has been names as the public security minister.
Libyan tribes have asked Egypt to provide weapons for defence for the Tobruk-based army.
Nigeria's oil companies have come to an agreement with the government and will release fuel within the next six hours easing the oil crisis in the African country.
Congolese soldier have clashed with Rwandan Hutu forces in east DRC as talks of transferring rebel forces from one camp to another have fallen apart.
An Air France flight from Paris has been escorted by US fighter jets to New York's JFK airport.
A gunman has take two people hostage in northeast Ukraine.
Nigerian authorities have said that around 29 fighters have been killed including a foreign Boko Haram commander.
The Israeli Public Prosecutor has called for a 14-month prison sentence for the Dr Aziz Dwait, the Palestinian parliament speaker.
The Baghdad-Kirkuk Highway has reopened. It had been closed since early March due to ISIL threats.
The parliament of Tajikistan has approved a Tajik-Chinese agreement on the extradition of suspected criminals.
Kenya's anti corruption commission has put forward two government ministers who should be charged with abuse of office.
Since the early hours of the morning, protesters blocked roads citywide to deter commuters.
October 25 has been selected as the date for the election of a new president and parliament for Tanzania.