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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

S. Sudanese president pardons political detainees

JUBA, (Xinhua) -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Friday said his government will release political detainees as the war-torn country prepares for national dialogue.

Kiir also revealed that he was aware of only three high profile political prisoners being held by his government.

“People are talking that I have political detainees, I don’t have political detainees. If they are there I will free them,” he said in Juba.

The three political prisoners mentioned include former Wau state governor Elias Waya Nyipuoch and his ex-deputy General Andrea Dominic who were arrested on accusation of inciting the violent tribal clash in Wau in June 2016 that killed over 43 people and displaced 12,000 people.

Although, he didn’t mention whether the detained James Gatdet Dak former spokesman of rebel leader Riek Machar who was deported last year from Kenya would benefit from the amnesty.

South Sudan held national prayers on Friday that will pave way for the much lauded national dialogue geared toward forgiveness and reconciliation of warring factions following more than three years of violent conflict.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013, following political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. The war has killed tens of thousands, displaced more than two million from their homes.

However, renewed violence in July 2016 threatened to tear apart a fragile 2015 peace agreement to end the conflict and intermittent fighting in once peaceful Equatoria region led to massive refugee influx of 1.5 million people fleeing brutal atrocities into neighboring countries. 

           

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