South Sudan says military chief has died during Egypt visit

South Sudan says its military chief has died during a visit to Egypt and after a “short illness.”

Gen. James Ajongo had taken over the role a year ago after Paul Malong was fired and put under house arrest.

The death comes ahead of a new round of peace talks expected in May as a regional bloc seeks an end to the country’s five-year civil war.

Conflict analysts say the death will put pressure on South Sudan President Salva Kiir to make critical decisions regarding his fragile ruling coalition.

Alan Boswell, a South Sudan analyst for Small Arms Survey, says Kiir has pushed out former allies in recent months as he “concentrates power in fewer and fewer hands.”

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