South Sudan’s president grants amnesty to Machar, all rebels

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South Sudan's then vice president Riek Machar (left) and President Salva Kiir pay their respects at John Garang's Mausoleum in Juba on the second anniversary of South Sudan becoming an independent state on July 9, 2013. Andrea Campeanu / Reuters
South Sudan’s then vice president Riek Machar (left) and President Salva Kiir pay their respects at John Garang’s Mausoleum in Juba on the second anniversary of South Sudan becoming an independent state on July 9, 2013. Andrea Campeanu / Reuters

South Sudan’s president has granted amnesty to armed opposition leader Riek Machar and all rebel groups days after signing a power-sharing agreement in the latest effort to end a five-year civil war.

The South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation reported the announcement by President Salva Kiir.

As part of the power-sharing deal, Kiir will remain president and Machar will return to the country as the first vice president, one of five vice presidents.

A similar agreement fell apart in July 2016 as fighting erupted and Machar fled the country

South Sudan’s government insists things will be different this time, with government spokesperson Michael Makuei saying last week that Machar has “learned the hard way.”

Machar’s troops are expected to go to cantonment sites for training to be unified with the government army.

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