South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir has given a blanket amnesty to rebels, including his rival Riek Machar, state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) reports.

The announcement comes days after the government and rebel groups signed a power- sharing deal in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, aimed at ending a nearly five-year civil war that has killed tens of thousands and forced millions of people from their homes.

A presidential decree, read out on state TV, said President Kiir had granted a general amnesty to “the leader of SPLM-IO [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – in Opposition], Dr Riek Machar Teny, and other estranged groups that waged war against the government of the Republic of South Sudan from 2013 to date”.

Fighting broke out in December 2013 after President Kiir accused his sacked deputy Mr Machar of plotting a coup.

Mr Machar denied the charges, but then mobilised a rebel force to fight the government.

South Sudan’s warring parties have also signed security arrangement deals as part of an ongoing peace process, mediated and brokered by the regional bloc Igad.

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