South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir has said he will not grant amnesty to rebel opposition leader Riek Machar if he does not turn away from violence despite granting amnesty to over 750 troops loyal to the exiled leader.
“My brother Riek Machar thinks the only way for him to become the president of this country is violence, killing innocent people. I told him several times [that]there is no reason to fight. If you [Machar] want to be the president, wait for elections, but he did not listen”, Kiir said on Sunday”.
After his with Dinka elders who briefed him on their activities after they visited their counterparts from Equatoria and Nuer territories., president Kirr said “They come asking me to pardon him. I tell them I have no problem with him. He is a citizen of this country and he can return anytime, but must denounce violence”,
South Sudan, Africa’s youngest nation, is embroiled in inter-ethnic and political strife. The oil-producing country became independent in 2011, it, however, descended into civil war two years later when a dispute between President Kiir and Machar ended with fighting, often occurring along ethnic lines. Both sides have targeted civilians, human rights groups say.
A peace pact in 2015 ostensibly ended the fighting but has frequently been violated. Major clashes broke out again in July. Former vice president and one-time ally to president Kirr who had been at the center of the rebellion fled the country this July when the brokered peace deal failed and has repeatedly called for an armed resistance following renewed clashes with forces loyal to Kiir. He is currently in South Africa seeking medical attention. Most attacks on civilian population have been placed to the Machar-led rebels