World Bulletin / News Desk
The amnesty announcement was read out on state-run television late on Wednesday.
It follows an agreement signed by South Sudan’s warring parties that grants the opposition power in a transitional government to end the young nation’s five-year bloody civil war that claimed tens of thousands of lives.
The agreement states that Kiir stays president and Machar will return to the country as the first vice president alongside five others.
"This genuine offer was made by his Excellency in the interest of peace so it would be wise if they (rebels) response to this call by the president," Michael Makuei, the government spokesman and information minister, told Anadolu Agency.
Since the beginning of the South Sudan civil war in 2013, tens of thousands have been killed and hundreds of others have been kidnapped, arrested and unlawfully detained, mostly by forces loyal to President Kiir but also by the opposition pitted against him.
Paul Lam Gabriel, a spokesman for Machar, rejected the offer as "meaningless" and "a blank cheque".
He said Kiir had issued amnesties in the past, including one in 2016, but no political prisoner or opposition member had benefited from it.
"He (Kiir) is using this to whip up support from the international community and the region". "If the government is serious about this amnesty, they should free political detainees in Juba."
South Sudan slid into chaos in 2013 when President Kiir accused his ex-deputy Machar of a coup, an accusation Machar denied.
The war engulfed the whole country, spurring a new wave of violence that fueled Africa’s biggest refugee crisis and displaced 4 millions people from their homes, including 2 million refugees who sought shelter in neighboring countries.
The United States last week voiced suspicion over Russia’s pursuit of new space weapons, including a mobile laser system to destroy satellites in space, and the launch of a new inspector satellite which was acting in an “abnormal” way.
Crash was not caused by hostile fire, coalition asserts
Bloc will now be tasked with drawing up country’s next government
Anti-Arab slogans were sprayed on walls of several Palestinian houses in Jerusalem
The U.S.-led coalition was formed in 2014 to fight Daesh in Iraq
Iraq's parliamentary vote results was the subject of bitter dispute amid widespread allegations of fraud
Iraq fought an 8-year war against Iran under the former regime of Saddam Hussein
Abbas says he rejects US mediation for Palestine-Israel peace talks
The military said it detected the lab in the town of Alcoyonqui, near the state capital Culiacan, and raided it on Thursday.
Israel closed Al Aqsa compound after a stabbing attempt near a mosque gate
Terrorists were ‘neutralized’ in Turkey's southeastern Hakkari province and northern Iraq’s Hakurk, Zap and Gara areas
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says training for combined patrols will start 'within 72 hours' in Turkey
Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council warns political ties with US will not be normalized
Call comes after Israeli police closed all of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates following an attempted knife attack
President says local politicians 'know a windfall when they see it;' asked for 'ridiculously high' sum
Credibility of US government with a president as 'erratic' as Trump is greatly diminished, says expert