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Gov’t rubbishes HRW’s criticism

The government has rubbished the statement by Human Rights Watch criticizing President Kiir for granting his opponents, including Dr Riek Machar an amnesty.

Dr Riek Machar’s group and other allies of the government have been accused of gross violations including killing and other human rights abuses during the five-year conflict.

The Human Right Watch said South Sudan’s leaders have a history of providing de facto blanket amnesty to opponents as part of peace deals, even prior to the country’s independence in 2011.

It said the resulting lack of justice has contributed to the country’s deepening social and ethnic divisions, and fueled violence and abuses.

“The president has the right to issue an amnesty when it is appropriate and it is the right thing to do,” said Lily Albino, the Deputy Minister of Information.

“We are not necessarily bound by what other entities that are not part of us think.”

The rights group added the country’s leaders should not undermine their efforts to bring an end to the conflict with an amnesty for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Ms Akol said the decision by the President is appropriate and aims to create a conducive environment for implementation of the peace agreement.

She said the amnesty is to pave way for the return of the opposition groups.

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