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South Sudan govt promises elections in 2015 despite war

AFP , Friday 2 Jan 2015
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Views: 906

The government of civil war-torn South Sudan has promised to hold elections in 2015 despite the ongoing civil war, with the country's president promising to give rebel figures an amnesty.

According to a government statement received on Friday, the elections will be held "at some point between May 1 and July 2015", with President Salva Kiir "determined that the elections will be transparent".

"We will hold elections in 2015 as we will not allow our democracy to be held hostage to violence. A budget has been approved and we urge all parties to participate," government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said.

The statement said the president was "in the process of securing an amnesty for people who have committed crimes against the government of South Sudan", but did not say when a full amnesty to rebel leaders would be granted.

Fighting broke out in South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, in December 2013 when President Kiir accused his sacked deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup.

The fighting in the capital Juba set off a cycle of retaliatory massacres across the country, pushing it to the brink of famine. Both government forces loyal to Kiir and rebels loyal to Machar continue to fight, despite numerous ceasefire deals.

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