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South Sudan Lifts Siege on Ex-Military Chief’s House

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South Sudan withdrew troops and armored vehicles surrounding the former army chief's house, a military spokesman said, ending a weeklong standoff that raised fears of clashes in the war-torn country's capital.

South Sudan

Army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said in a statement the army pulled back its troops late on Saturday after General Paul Malong agreed to reduce the number of his bodyguards.

Malong's wife Lucy Ayak told Reuters by phone from Nairobi that her husband remains under house arrest but said the troop withdrawal is a "sign of peace."

Ayak however could not confirm if the reduction of bodyguards took place.

Malong led the army's war effort against rebels from 2014, but was sacked and placed under house arrest this May after a fall-out with President Salva Kiir.

Last weekend, Kiir sent troops to disarm Malong's bodyguards, but they refused. Kiir's troops surrounded the house.

Malong is under US sanctions and has been accused, along with Kiir, by a UN experts panel of leading troops who murdered civilians during the civil war.

South Sudan's war began in 2013 between Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and his former Vice President Riek Machar, a Nuer.

Tens of thousands have been killed, and the war has created Africa's largest refugee crisis in two decades. The UN said the conflict's ethnic cleansing was setting the stage for genocide.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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