Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 3-South Sudan rebel leader Machar returns to mark peace deal


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.

Kiir said he had ordered the release of an advisor and a spokesman to rebel leader Machar on Thursday.

Kiir said retired South African colonel William Endley, who was sentenced to death in February for trying to bring down the government, would be released.

"I'll release him tomorrow and he will be deported to his country," he said, adding that rebel spokesman James Gatdet will also be released.

Gatdet had also been sentenced to death in February on charges of treason and incitement against the government.

There have been sporadic incidences of fighting since the latest agreement was signed, but violence has largely died down.

Kiir hosted Wednesday's ceremony near the mausoleum of national hero John Garang - the same spot where the country celebrated its independence from Sudan in 2011 after decades of north-south war fuelled by oil, ethnicity and religion.

Leaders from Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and Somalia looked on as traditional dancers entertained the crowds.

Machar fled to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo in 2016 after fighting broke out again in the capital, wrecking an earlier peace deal and killing hundreds.

He later travelled to South Africa, where he was held under house arrest until earlier this year.

Under pressure from governments in East Africa and from United Nations and Western donors, Machar's group, other rebel factions and the government last month signed a peace deal, under which he will again become vice president. (Reporting by Denis Dumo; Writing by Aaron Maasho; Editing by George Obulutsa, Richard Balmforth)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....

Hyderabad Encounter: Time to review modern judiciary and restore people’s confidence

Its probably for the first time in the history of independent India, the parliamentarians, chief ministers and ministers in the Union and State governments are openly supporting an encounter. This indicates the people from top to bottom hav...

What happens to your outstanding loans if the bank falls?

... ...

Time for a change! Innovations to stop the growing plastic pollution

As the planet is drowning in plastic pollution, many new innovative approaches and solutions have emerged to effectively deal with the menace....

Videos

Latest News

US STOCKS-Futures down with focus on tariff deadline

U.S. stock index futures slipped on Tuesday as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of a looming U.S. tariff deadline on Chinese goods that could possibly derail any progress made in trade talks between the worlds top two economies.Wall ...

Doping-Russian athletics champion blasts own sports authorities over Olympic ban

Russian high jump world champion Maria Lasitskene on Tuesday accused her countrys own sports authorities of failing to protect athletes from the deepening doping crisis, in a rare public broadside at top officials. The World Anti-Doping Age...

Mohun Bagan seek first win of season in match against debutant Trau FC

Mohun Bagan will be desperate to earn their first win of this I-League season when they face debutants TRAU FC of Manipur at the Kalyani Municipality Stadium here on Wednesday. The Kolkata heavyweights have logged just one point from two ga...

China plans to launch its own digital currency: Report

China plans to launch its own digital currency to stay ahead of the global competition with its central bank approving proposals to conduct trials in some cities, official media here reported on Tuesday. Chinas central bank - the Peoples Ba...

Give Feedback