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South Sudan Announces Peace Agreement With Insurgent Militia

South Sudan said it signed a peace agreement with a prominent militia group whose leader was killed by government troops in December.

The rebel group formerly headed by George Athor pledged to disarm and join the national army, government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin told reporters today in the capital, Juba.

Athor’s group has been active in Jonglei state, which is mostly covered by Block B, an unexploited oil concession owned in part by the French company Total SA.

The Geneva-based Small Arms Survey called Athor “the most important of the dissidents” who took up arms against the government after the end of a civil war that led to the south’s separation from Sudan in July.

Athor formed the South Sudan Democratic Army in April 2010 after losing a bid for state governor. Benjamin said the agreement includes promises of “political representation at a state and national level.”

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