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Sudan hopes rebel chief’s return brings peace to South Sudan

South Sudan won independence from Sudan under a peace agreement in 2011 but the world’s newest country is now caught in a ferocious civil war

Published: Updated:

Sudan said it hoped that the return of South Sudan rebel chief Riek Machar and his swearing in as vice-president on Tuesday would help bring peace to the war-torn country.

South Sudan won independence from Sudan under a peace agreement in 2011 but the world’s newest country is now caught in a ferocious civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people.

Khartoum’s foreign ministry said it hoped Machar’s return “will bring peace to South Sudan” and that a peace deal struck in August 2015 by South Sudanese parties would be fully implemented.

It said Sudan too was committed to implementing security and economic agreements signed with Juba in 2012.

South Sudan is one of the poorest countries on the planet, and had some of the world’s worst indicators for development, health and education even before the war.

The fighting erupted there in December 2013 when Machar’s longtime arch rival President Salva Kiir accused him of plotting a coup.

The conflict has witnessed the abduction and rape of thousands of women and girls, massacres of civilians, recruitment of child soldiers, murder, mutilation and even cannibalism.

The fighting has pitted government troops loyal to Kiir against those of Machar, who was sacked as vice president five months before war began.