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South Sudan President Defends Troops Deployment to Deputy’s Home

The president of South Sudan has defended the armed troops deployment to the residence of the first vice-president Riek Machar.

Salva Kiir Mayardit described it as “normal practice”, designed to protect the former rebel leader.

But vice president Machar condemned the troops deployment to his home, saying it “creates doubt” that the fragile peace process can succeed.

He has accused government forces of attacking his positions in upper Nile and unity states, in the north of the country, in recent weeks.

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The United Nations has urged the two sides to negotiate to try to stop South Sudan sliding back into full civil war.

Soldiers had encircled Mr. Machar’s house from Sunday evening until Monday, after he rejected President Kiir’s directive on the formation of a national army.

It’s a key part of the peace deal the pair signed in 2018 following five years of civil war.

But progress been hampered by mistrust among political leaders, inter-communal fighting and insecurity – and tensions are high as the country prepares for a general election next year.

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