South Sudan’s Deputy Military Chief Dies In Kenya

Posted August 22nd, 2012 at 4:50 pm (UTC-5)
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A powerful South Sudanese military commander and former militia leader, Paulino Matip, has died in a Kenyan hospital after a long illness.

Information minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin announced Matip's death Tuesday, describing him as a champion of peace and reconciliation.

Matip switched sides several times during the north-south civil war that killed hundreds of thousands of people.

He became deputy commander in chief of South Sudan's national army after South Sudan seceded from Sudan a year ago according to a 2005 peace deal. He was second to President Salva Kiir, who is the army's commander-in-chief.

Matip's body will be flown to Juba for a funeral.