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South Sudan general attacks 'disgraced' president amid resignation

A South Sudan general has resigned and told President Salva Kiir he has "disgraced" himself by subjecting the country to ethnic bias and "unacceptable cycles of violence".

The resignation letter came from Lieutenant General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the deputy chief of general staff for logistics.

Warnings of genocide hang over South Sudan, where a 2015 peace deal has failed to stop the three-year civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and forced 1.5 million to flee.

Lt Gen Swaka's letter accuses the president of a "policy of ethnic domination and subjugation" in which Mr Kiir's ethnic Dinka group "has come to be hated by their own brothers and sisters from other communities".

The general says he is convinced the "tribally engineered war" had been planned and the government orchestrated violations of the peace deal that led to deadly fighting in the capital, Juba, in July.

The violence forced Mr Kiir's rival and then-vice president Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, to flee the country. He remains in exile.

Non-Dinka tribes in South Sudan are being neglected, Lt Gen Swaka writes, and "soldiers from the Dinka ethnic group have been strategically deployed and posted in non-Dinka areas to support the policy of land occupation and enforcing the agenda of forceful Dinkanisation and domination of the country".

In April, South Sudan's military denied tensions between it and Lt Gen Swaka over land issues.

The United Nations has warned that South Sudan is witnessing ethnic cleansing.

"The risk that mass atrocities will be committed remains ever-present," the UN secretary-general's adviser on genocide prevention, Adama Dieng, said this week.

A US-led effort to have the UN Security Council impose an arms embargo on South Sudan failed late last year.

AP

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