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What plans does the US have for South Sudan and Sudan?

South Sudan former military chief of staff, Paul Malong

South Sudan says former military chief of staff Paul Malong has been released from house arrest on humanitarian grounds and flown to Kenya for medical treatment.

"He's free to go anywhere he wants," information minister Michael Makuei told The Associated Press. This is Malong's first trip abroad since he was fired in May.

The US Ambassador to the United Nations says the South Sudanese government is engaged in a brutal, protracted military campaign against a fragmented opposition and says, while both sides are responsible for atrocities against civilians, the government is primarily responsible for ethnically based killings.

Nikki Haley, who made those remarks says nothing prepared her for the level of suffering she saw when she recently visited South Sudanese refugee camps. Haley traveled to South Sudan last month, becoming the first senior member of the Trump administration to do so. She said the United States at one point had high hopes for the country's leader, Salva Kiir, but there is now revulsion with what he has allowed to happen the past few years.

Last week Sudan President Al Bashir said that the atrocities that have accompanied the civil war in South Sudan since December 2013 should have put the leaders of the newly-born state under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Army chief of staff Malong had been under house arrest at his residence since May, after a string of resignations by military officials who alleged there was ethnic bias in the army, and that soldiers were committing war crimes in the context of South Sudan's civil war.

There are signs of hope with the recent release of President Kiir’s former army chief of staff. The reconciliation occurred a week after a tense standoff in Juba threatened to escalate into violence.


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