A senior South Sudanese military general accused

A senior South Sudanese military general accused of orchestrating the July 2016 fighting in the country has denied re-igniting the conflict, and instead blamed former vice President Riek Machar.

Gen Paul Malong, the chief of general staff of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), told a team of visiting Ugandan and Kenyan journalists that Dr Machar, who is now exiled in Khartoum, attempted “a palace coup”.

However, Dr Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet, yesterday described Gen Malong’s claims as “lies calculated to serve a purpose, ” maintaining that Malong is one of the coup planners.

The July skirmishes broke out at the Presidential palace in Juba and some 304 mainly pro-Machar soldiers, including his bodyguards, were killed. The Presidential palace fence remains riddled with bullet holes, three months later.