JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan's main rebel group says its leader Riek Machar has removed two top generals in a move interpreted as an internal purge to prepare for peace talks with the government.
The rebel statement Wednesday said that Gen. Peter Gadet and Gen. Gatoath Gatkuoth have been removed from their posts.
South Sudan was thrown into conflict in December 2013 when forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, and President Salva Kiir, a Dinka clashed.
Analysts say both of the ousted generals were ethnic Nuer and so may have opposed any compromise with Kiir's government.
The U.N. and human rights group have accused South Sudan's government of committing atrocities against Nuer civilians in the course of their counter-insurgency operations.