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Machar: Renegades Are Ready to Talk

Machar: Renegades Are Ready to Talk

The office of South Sudan’s First Vice-President, Riek Machar, says he has received calls from the generals who defected last week from the military wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO).

Gen Johnson Olony informed Machar about their group’s acceptance of the ceasefire, SPLM-IO’s communication director said.

Machar emphasised the need to peacefully resolve the incident that took place in Magenis in Upper Nile State, the director added.

Over the weekend clashes between the two factions saw at least 34 soldiers killed from both sides, according to local media.

SPLM-IO’s communication director Puok Both Baluang said Mr Machar and Gen Olony agreed to maintain contact.

The BBC could not independently verify this information as contact with the defected faction could not be established.

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Early last week, three generals from the SPLM-IO announced that they had deposed Mr Machar and replaced him with the former Chief of Staff, Gen Simon Gatwech Dual and wanted Mr Machar step down as first vice-president.

But Machar said the attempt to remove him was supported by “peace spoilers”.

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