South Sudan Sentences South African to Hang Over Conspiracy

William John Endley, a South African national and an adviser to South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar, sits in the dock, in the High Court in Juba, South Sudan February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Samir Bol

A South Sudan court on Friday sentenced a South African ex-colonel to be executed by hanging after he was convicted of trying to bring down the government.

Retired colonel William Endley, 55, had been providing advice to former-vice-president-turned-rebel-leader Riek Machar, whose forces have been fighting a civil war since 2013.

During the sentencing, Judge Lado Eriminio Sekwat said Endley had 15 days to appeal.

In addition to charges of conspiracy and the supply of weapons, Endley was convicted of espionage, waging an insurgency, sabotage, terrorism and illegal entry into South Sudan.

During the trial, Endley attempted to call six witnesses in his defense but none showed up to testify.

He was on trial alongside a former spokesman for Machar, who was handed the death sentence earlier this month for incitement and conspiracy against President Salva Kiir’s government.

South Sudan, which won independence from Sudan in 2011, descended into civil war in 2013, months after Kiir fired his then deputy Machar. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and a third of the population have fled their homes.

Machar fled to Democratic Republic of Congo after fierce fighting broke out in Juba in July 2016 and is now in South Africa under virtual house arrest.

Reporting by Denis Dumo

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