Top S.Sudan leader reunites with rivals amid war

Sudan_-_Location_Map_(2011)_-_SDN_-_UNOCHA.svgTop South Sudanese politician Pagan Amum, arrested and sacked as secretary general of the ruling party as civil war erupted 18-months ago, was reinstated to his post on Tuesday.

The return of Amum, once one of the most influential leaders of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), is a rare step towards political reconciliation amongst warring rivals.

“This is good news for South Sudan, this is good news for SPLM members and the entire region,” party spokesman Akol Paul said Tuesday.

War however continues unabated, and political deals in the capital Juba appear to have failed in stemming violence on the ground.

The UN children’s agency said in a report last week that warring forces have carried out horrific crimes against children, including castration, rape and tying them together before slitting their throats. Others were thrown into burning houses.

Civil war began in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings across the country that has split the poverty-stricken, landlocked country along ethnic lines.

Machar fights on. Two-thirds of the country’s 12 million people need aid, according to the UN.

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