Thursday 24 January 2019
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portalangop - 3 month ago

South Sudan rebel leader Machar returns to mark peace deal

JUBA - South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar returned to the capital Juba on Wednesday to celebrate a peace deal, more than two years after fierce fighting erupted in the city and forced him to flee the country. , To further reinforce the peace deal, President Salva Kiir ordered the release of a jailed advisor to Machar, and a spokesman to his rebel group. Machar flew in with his wife and a small retinue but none of his troops - then met Kiir, his long-time rival, and a line-up of regional leaders who have spent years pressing the two men to end their civil war. We need peace, Machar told thousands of people who gathered at a ceremony marking the accord that he, Kiir and other groups signed last month. We really pray that this peace agreement holds this time, said 27-year old Juma Khamis in the crowd. Regional and Western powers alike have been exasperated by a string of failed ceasefires and deals. The world s youngest nation plunged into conflict in 2013 after Kiir sacked Machar as vice president. Troops loyal to both men clashed in the capital that December and ethnically charged fighting soon spread across the state, shutting down oil fields, forcing millions to flee and killing hundreds of thousands of people. ,

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