the us president—elect, donald trump is to appoint his son—in—law, jared kushner, as a senior white house adviser. democrats immediately called for a review of the appointment. mr trump's team argued that a law barring governmentjobs being given to relatives does not apply to white house positions. more than 30 people have died as a cold snap from the arctic circle takes hold in central and eastern europe. temperatures dropped to as little as minus 30 degree celsius. charities are concerned for refugees crossing the continent on foot or living in informal settlements. brazil's government is defending its plan to build dozens of huge hydro—electric dams. it argues the project will boost the economy and provide clean energy. environmentalists say the plan is a disaster for the amazon and will actually result in more deforestation and global warming. now it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, with me, zeinab badawi.
the people of south sudan have known little peace for many decades, and independence in 2011 has brought them nothing but war, increasing poverty and starvation, and suffering. tens of thousands have died, and more than 3 million have been forced to leave their homes in the past three years. the united nations says, "the current spate of fighting amounts to ethnic cleansing, and could spiral into genocide." the main rebel group is headed by the former vice president, riek machar, who is now in exile. my guest today is his wife, angelina teny, who is a senior member of the movement. how much responsibility do they bear for the suffering in south sudan? angelina teney, welcome to hardtalk.
thank you very much. the situation in south sudan is dire. what are you hearing about what's going on on the ground? well, you said it is dire. the humanitarian situation has reached a level of catastrophe. the war is escalating even further, and the economic situation, what we could say is it is no longer on a free fall, but rather it has crashed the country. so, in a nutshell, you can say that the situation for the normal citizen, for the person there, is really one of desperation. the united nations humanitarian chief, stephen o'brien, says that 6 million people, that's half of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance. 5 million are in danger of starvation. 3 million have been forced to leave their homes.
a million refugees, 2 million internally displaced people. who do you think is responsible for this? well, i can say that we are responsible for ending it, and this is where the responsibility... we'll all come to that, about ending it, but who do you think is behind all this? i would say the way our president, president salva, led the country has really led to this situation, because what had happened is that our country, just before starting, from 2011, was turned into a police state. so dissenting views are really not accepted. then, when members of the ruling party, the splm, tried to start a dialogue within the party in order to recreate a vision and a direction for the country, the president did not welcome that. you claim president salva kiir
of south sudan, but i have to put it to you that your husband, riek machar, who is the main rebel leader, has been a significant player in south sudan for three decades. he's been a vice president, on and off, for 15 years, and he has to share the blame for the situation that the people of south sudan find themselves in today. well, definitely i cannot say that he has been out of the system. he has been in the system in south sudan, but what you have to know is that my chairman, when he decided to actually raise the concerns that our country was facing, that is what brought the fallout, and that is what actually led president salva to introduce violence, in order to rest finally peaceful dialogues within the party and within the country.
you're talking about the recent fallout that the two men had last year? yes. about that one, notjust from 2013, because you know we've been engaged in trying to, during the interim period, really to ensure that the referendum succeeds. while we were doing that, president salva was also asserting his dictatorship. 0ur disagreements started... he was elected, and your husband, riek machar, you were referring to the referendum in 2011 that brought independence to south sudan, has been an ally, a deputy to him. but let me just carry on my train of thought for you, which is that riek machar must share the burden of responsibility for what's going on. south sudan analyst, former deputy defence minister
majak d'agoot refers to the gun class in south sudan, "sectarian warlords, like riek machar, who have historically used violence, channelled through appeals to ethnic nationalism, to hijack the state for personal gain." well, i would dispute that as an accurate statement, because also majak, as you know, is another politician from south sudan... but he has been allied to your... however, i want to establish the fact that my husband, or let me say my chairman... chairman of the splm—in 0pposition. ..has been on records all the time trying to correct the situation, trying to introduce institutional reforms, systems of governance that will ensure a democratic transformation, and this is actually what brings the fallout between the leaders. 0k. i want to make it... i am not here to say that there aren't many abundant criticism of president salva kiir‘s government. there are many, from the international community, from within south sudan.
but i am talking to you, as a senior member of the sudan people's liberation movement—in—0pposition. if there are issues to put to the government of south sudan, we on hardtalk will do that when we talk to them. but if i mayjust continue with putting to you some of the criticisms that are made about your movement. so, you say that civilians are being killed on the basis of tribal affiliations, but there are reliable reports that rebel forces of your opposition movement, or affiliated with your movement, have also killed and raped civilians. what is your response to that? if you go back to the records, including even the un report, you will find since when we officially established the splm—io in april 2014, that those those incidences have, in one way or another, what ever that had happened before that we have investigated, and we have actually addressed, since that, our movement has not made it a policy, and therefore, you will not find that there are incidences actually attributed to us since we established organised. well, i'll give you one.
sorry to interrupt you. human rights watch says in october 2016, rebels claiming affiliation with riek machar ambushed a convoy of cars and trucks carrying civilians fleeing yei, killing mostly dinka. the dinka, of course, are the tribe of president salva kiir — according to the cia world factbook, about 36% of south sudan's population. then nuer tribe, from which you and your husband hail, about 15%. i know the figures are disputed, that they are the most recent ones we have. anyway, the point is that dinka were killed, mostly, in this incident in yei.
an 11—year—old boy said, "they started to shoot, and i lay down. 0thers fell on top of me. the rebels then burned the truck, killing dozens of occupants inside." we have come across that. actually, my chairman has directed an investigation if these are people truly affiliated to us, because our people on the ground are under orders, with clear and specific instructions, that they are not fighting a war with anyone. rather, they are resisting the onslaught from the government. so that incident that has been attributed by the human rights watch, we have investigated. 0ur forces on that part of south sudan have actually denied any responsibility, or being part of it. i give you another example. have you done anything about this? the united nations mission, unmiss, in south sudan, said in a very detailed report in 2014, "pro—riek machar forces
sacked the oil town of bentiu in april 2014, killing hundreds of civilians, notably in the mosque, the hospital, the market and surrounding areas. " definitely, actually, the icrc has done a report and we have a commission, and we have actually made the report public, and the people that were identified by the icrc were brought to book by... the international committee of the red cross, yes. i could go on and on, actually. i don't want to keep on doing that, but there are... you know, unmiss, the united nations mission, says there are reasonable grounds to believe that violations of international human rights and humanitarian law have been committed by both parties to the conflict. i would not deny absolutely to say nothing had happened, that i would say it is not a policy, and we are very determined to always, when something like that happens, it is addressed, it is investigated, and the culprits are actually brought to account. because... war is tragic. yes, it is tragic, but we,
as a responsible organisation, don't believe you should allow people who do that to get away with it. unmiss, the un, is urging both sides to control their forces. can you control your forces? we have, because if you go back to the incidences of thejuba crisis onjuly 8th, you would find that the way the splm—in—0pposition conducted themselves, you would find civilians telling you that we have actually got directives and protections, and we have shown what to do and where to go, and so on, whereas after we'd withdrawn, the catastrophe that happened in juba after that, well, everybody knows about it, the killings... you are talking about the active combat that broke out injuly last year in the south sudanese capital, juba, between salva kiir and riek machar‘s forces. but i have to say to you that you did not emerge without criticism from that situation.
human rights watch again said, "regardless of the intentions of machar‘s forces, of going into civilian sites, the impact of the manoeuvre was to endanger the thousands of civilians who were sheltering in these un protection sites, and that would constitute a war crime of using human shields." and they also said, "any dinka civilians who remained in the town risked death." so you raised one example of what went on there injuly, and i'm saying to you, again, that the forces of the splm—in—0pposition had not emerged unscathed. well, we tried to withdraw... given that our side was very close to the un protection site, this is where the whole battle actually took place. so we had no way of withdrawing other than through that route, because the un is very close. but what ever your intentions were, you endangered civilians. i think it is worth explaining that, as the conflict research american alan boswell, based in kenya, writing a book about south sudan, says," i think you have to different wars going on in south sudan.
you have a fight between president salva kiir and riek machar‘s coalitions over who will be king, but there are a bunch of smaller groups in south sudan who are waging war against the kingdom itself." so we accept that there are a range of different perpetrators and unnamed militia groups and so one, but the fact does remain, and i ask you again, what do you say to the criticisms that forces of the sudan people's liberation movement—in—0pposition have committed some of these atrocities against civilians — rape, looting, killing, violence, that you yourself had condemned? what do you say? we are saying that, as a movement, we do not condone any of this. even when we were negotiating the agreement, the agreement and the resolution of the conflict in the republic of south sudan, we stood very firm, and we are on record. we fought for the inclusion of transitional justice. actually, we say justice and accountability. and this is still the cornerstone. and this is because we feel
that we must end impunity, and we must make people who actually commit crimes against other human beings must be made accountable. including anybody from your... including your chairman, your husband ? we call for it, we call for it because we feel that it is needed. it is what will end the situation in south sedan. it will end impunity, and we say it without exception. without exception? including your husband? we say it without exception. right. just on this point of genocide, which is a very, very important one, because adama dieng, the un special adviser on the prevention of genocide, said at the end of last year, after visiting south sudan, "i was dismayed that what i saw confirmed my concern that there is a strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines with the potential to spiral into genocide. i do not say that lightly."
i mean, is that a possibility? 0ur thinking is not even looming, but rather in progress. already the 0basanjo report, which is the report by the commission of the... the former president of nigeria. ..had already established that ethnic cleansing injuba took place in 2013. in the span of one week, over 20,000 people were killed just because they belonged to an ethnic group. this was done by men in uniform, by government. well, that's your accusation, and i'm sure it will be looked at. now, when you come to this situation today, it is even worse, because it has spread. it is in southern unity, it is in central equatoria, it is in western equatoria. we have just walked from juba, afterjuly. and we have seen it with our own eyes, and it is a plan organised by the government.
president salva is on record saying that we will hand them down like rats. well, as i said, we are not here... there are criticisms made about salva kiir, but i have to put it to you that you are parties to this conflict, and arguably, are fuelling a lot of the violence that you yourself condemn. for example, in september last year, your movement, the splm—in—0pposition, declared war on what it described as the "regime" injuba, saying it wants to wage a popular armed resistance against the authoritarian and fascist regime of president salva kiir in order to bring peace, freedom, democracy and the rule of law in the country. we have not declared war. we said resistance. armed resistance. because there is already a war going on, because already the regime of salva was already on offensive. but you are parties to the conflict.
the evidence to that is that, unless you are telling us don't protect yourself... i have to say to you, but you know yourself, angelina teney, that there was widespread condemnation when that statement was made. the us state department's spokesman, john kirby, 28 september, said, "the us government strongly condemns riek machar‘s statement." a joint statement by the troika powers, the eu, norway and the us, as well as other governments also condemned calls by the opposition leaders for a renewal of armed conflict. "further fighting won't solve south sudan's pressing political and economic challenges. it will only increase the suffering of south sudan's people", they said. i could go on and on. it was widespread condemnation. i can tell you that if you saw the communique that we issued during that meeting, it talks about a political process that is needed for the resuscitation of this agreement. that statement of the resistance was actually the last point in that communique. so it was an option for the people of south sudan to continue, to be defended from
the onslaught that is going on. so our declaration is actually for a political process. it isn't. look, that is not how it is being seen at all. let me ask you this. i'm correcting you. the east african group of nations, known as egad, has said, on the 9th of december in a communique, "we call upon the splm—in—0pposition to renounce violence as a means of solving the problems of south sudan." do you renounce violence? we say, tell the government injuba to stop the offensive, the pursuit of people based on ethnic affiliation, based on political affiliation. we say that if you hold the government to account, because the government injuba gets encouraged with this statement, and they are being let off the hook. in fact, they are the one on the offensive. whatever the opposition is doing, it's basically fighting back, to resist. so you won't renounce violence? you're saying you're resisting, but you use violence to resist?
what else to we do? the other options are, you go to be a refugee, you go to be internally displaced, or you go to a un protection camp, but if you find yourself, that there is a way you can fight back, these people will fight back, especially when there is no hope now, without any peace process in place. you talk about the peace process. of course, there was a deal in august 2015, known as "the agreement" for a resolution of the conflict in south sudan. you think that there is still a way forward by resuscitating that? definitely. but there are also reports, as we had in october, that riek machar announced that that agreement was dead. it has collapsed.
the agreement has collapsed. we feel that it needs to be renewed so that it is resuscitated, so that the people of south sudan are given a chance again to start. remember, we did take risks and we did go tojuba to implement that agreement. 0nly even based on some of the un reports, as you know, president salva started to introduce violence, and we had to leave juba under that fire. now we are still committed to a political settlement. this political settlement, we believe that this agreement has a lot of good things in it. it any needs to be revived, to be reviewed, so that we can also embark now on its implementation. but really, you've been marginalised, you've been pushed to the sidelines, riek machar, the leader of the splm—in—0pposition. we've seen taban deng appointed as the new vice president. the international community have lined up behind him, and president salva kiir, rightly or wrongly, is being seen as somebody that the international community can deal with. festus mogae, former president of botswana, who chairs the joint monitoring and evaluation commission, has said, i applaud
salva kiir‘s leadership. so you've been written out of the picture. 0k. has the war stopped? the war hasn't stopped, but the international community has lined up a between salva kiir and his new deputy, taban deng, who is from the nuer tribe, as you are. you've just spoken about a genocide looming. this is a report by the un. if that government was doing something that was good for the country, definitely there would be no reports talking about genocide in that country. so, in a nutshell, the peace agreement has collapsed. there is no agreement in place. the government continues to pursue a scorched earth policy for targeting civilians, for targeting those that are dissenting voices. now the war has escalated even more. so if the international community believe, and president salva kiir believes, that by having taban deng as his deputy, replacing the person
appointed by the government, will bring peace, we should have seen peace 110w. well, they are working on it. in december last year, president salva kiir announced a new national dialogue. again, the international community have said they will support this national dialogue in any way that they can. why don't you join this national dialogue and renounce violence? the national dialogue can never be a replacement for a peace process that would end the war. a national dialogue, you need a conducive environment where people can actually freely speak. something that is absent now in south sudan. for you to join a national dialogue, you first of all must create the environment whereby you have that space for everybody to be able to express themselves. and this is what we are saying. let's create that space by resuscitating the agreement, and once the agreement is resuscitated, we will have the environment, and the agreement
now provides the road map for the dialogue. how can you do that when riek machar is in south africa? by the way, is he in exile? is he under house arrest in south africa? he's not under house arrest. under country arrest, as it were? the south africans themselves have answered and said he's not under house arrest. so why isn't he going around lobbying governments, and you're doing it instead? because i'm a member of the movement. remember, i negotiated our security... sure. but can he move around? he can move. is he going to go back to south sudan, not tojuba... definitely. south sudan is home. but i really want to go back to... he will go back? definitely. does he still think he's vice president? he's not vice president, because there's no transitional government of national unity in place. the government in juba is the regime. since the agreement has collapsed, that leaves you with a regime that he's not part of. finally, in the last few seconds, a senior african statesman,
who is very aware of what is going on in south sudan, has told me that south sudan will know no peace until both salva kiir and riek machar quit the scene. he's right, isn't he? he's not right. he's not right? he's not right. because we, as in opposition, offer an alternative. we have a programme in place that we believe we actually can transform that country, and move it to the next level. we know that president salva kiir cannot do that, because he has been given many opportunities. we try even to do it with him. we even introduced, before the outbreak of the 2013 crisis, a process of national reconciliation that would allow the south sudanese people to actually move on. president salva abrogated it. angelina teney, we leave it there. thank you for coming on hardtalk. thank you. good morning.
there's certainly some chilly and wintry weather on the way but today, it will get that bit milder as we go through the day. lots of clouds spilling in from the west after what will be a cooler start than recent mornings. even a touch of frost and ice around in southern and eastern parts of england with clearer skies at the end of the night. start the day with sunshine, a much brighter day than we have seen for the past few. in the west, already patchy rain and drizzle and a bit of a breeze across devon and cornwell and west wales. a bit of rain pushing into northern england,
mainly to the west of the pennines, going through the night. the further north we go, a blustery start and strong winds through the night in northern scotland. already here, the cloud is spilling in. western scotland and northern ireland, occasional rain. cloudy conditions with occasional rain and drizzle in the west, pushing its way eastward. winds strengthening throughout across the northern half of the county, gales in particular to the north—east. temperatures steadily on the rise. by the end of the day, into double figures in the west but a bit cooler further east. it sets us into a mild enough start through the night with a bit of cloud but strong winds and severe gales spreading across the north of scotland through the night. the wind is picking up elsewhere as we go into wednesday morning. a weakening weather front works its way southwards. temperatures into double figures overnight in the far south. notice we are starting to open the door to arctic air. into wednesday, not only will it get colder but we will have strong winds to contend with. bear that in mind if you are on the move on wednesday. wind gusting 50—60 mph through parts of wales and northwards. frequent showers in the north and west turning into sleet and snow as the colder air digs in.
slowly getting colder across the south but temperatures still holding up by the afternoon, 7—9. plenty of cloud and one or two rain showers. the big change comes into thursday. open the door to arctic air. this little feature, pushing in to the south as we go through the day. how far north that goes, it will be crucial as to whether we see any snow into thursday across southern counties. at the moment, it will stay in the english channel, mainly rain, but maybe a bit of snow. frequent snow showers across northern and western parts of the country, giving coverage to some places. eastern areas, dry and brighter. one or two flurries. for all, the wind will be noticeable, makeing it feel subzero, a real arctic blast with a bitter wind chill. the cold winds continue into friday. again, we will see snow flurries work their way southwards. at this stage, we have to be careful of severe gales down the north sea. here we can see some rough seas around the coast as well. bye for now. hello, you're watching bbc news. i'm adnan nawaz. our top story this hour: the son—in—law also rises —