South Sudan President Grants Amnesty to Riek Machar

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In a television broadcast few days after he signed a peace deal, South Sudan President Salva Kiir granted amnesty to rebel leader, Riek Machar and all those involved in the nation’s civil war.

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition leader Riek Machar (former vice president to Kiir) and Salva Kiir and other groups have signed a ceasefire and power-sharing agreement in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

A political row between Kiir and Machar degenerated in 2013 into a war that has killed tens of thousands, forced a quarter of the population to flee their homes and wrecked the country’s oil-dependent economy. The conflict has often been fought along ethnic lines. Previous peace deals have failed, including one in 2015 that briefly halted hostilities but fell apart after Machar returned to the capital Juba the following year.

SPLM-IO is the largest of the rebel groups fighting Kiir’s government, and fighters allied to it control several areas close to the capital.

Some of its generals broke off to form their own movements or to join Kiir’s government, and other anti-government groups have also emerged since the conflict erupted, some of which have fought against each other.