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S. Sudan's Machar Unveils 'Resistance' Group

  • VOA News

FILE - Former South Sudan's VP Riek Machar.

FILE - Former South Sudan's VP Riek Machar.

South Sudan's former vice president says he has formed a "resistance" group that will fight the government to ensure democracy and good governance in the war-battered country.

South Sudan's government had accused Riek Machar of leading a coup attempt that set off weeks of deadly fighting between pro- and anti-government troops.

In a telephone interview Monday with VOA's South Sudan in Focus program, Machar confirmed he is opposed to the government of President Salva Kiir.

"We decided to organize a resistance against the regime. So yes, if you heard troops in Upper Nile, in Jonglei, in Unity States, in Equatoria, saying what I am saying, yes, we are now an organized resistance against the regime," said Machar.

Machar said his group wants to see democracy, pluralism, free elections, and good governance take hold in South Sudan.

Thousands are believed killed, and more than a half-million people have been driven from their homes by the fighting in South Sudan. A cease-fire signed by government and rebel delegations in Ethiopia 10 days ago has largely held, despite each side accusing the other of violations.

More talks are scheduled to begin on February 7th.

Machar is a political rival of the president, and has announced plans to challenge him in the next elections. Kiir fired him as vice president in July, about five months before the fighting began.

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