President Salva Kiir has granted a general amnesty to rebels in South Sudan’s civil war, including his former deputy Riek Machar- state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) reports.
The announcement comes days after the government and rebel groups signed a power-sharing deal in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, aimed at ending a nearly five-year civil war that has killed tens of thousands and forced millions of people from their homes.
A presidential decree, read out on state TV, said President Kiir had granted a general amnesty to “the leader of SPLM-IO [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – in Opposition], Dr Riek Machar Teny, and other estranged groups that waged war against the government of the Republic of South Sudan from 2013 to date”.
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.
South Sudan’s warring parties have also signed security arrangement deals as part of an ongoing peace process, mediated and brokered by the regional bloc Igad.