A South Sudan court on Friday, February 23, 2018, sentenced a South African ex-colonel to be executed by hanging, after he was convicted of conspiracy and attempting to overthrow the government.
William Endley, a retired colonel aged 55, had been providing advice to former-vice-president-turned-rebel-leader Riek Machar, whose forces have been fighting a civil war since 2013.
On February 15, the court said no defence witnesses appeared to testify in the trial of Endley.
“The defence case is closed and the final judgment will be given on the 23rd of this month”, Ladu Sekwat, the presiding judge, said during the hearing.”
Endley’s lawyer Gardit Gar told Reuters that six witnesses had been served with a notification to testify, including a government minister.
In addition to charges of conspiracy and the supply of weapons, Endley, was accused of espionage, waging an insurgency, sabotage, terrorism and illegal entry into South Sudan.
He was charged alongside James Dak, a former spokesman for Machar, who was also handed the death sentence for incitement and conspiracy against 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, who fled to Democratic Republic of Congo after fierce fighting broke out in Juba in July 2016, is now in South Africa under virtual house arrest.
Talks on a new power-sharing arrangement and an election are taking place in the Ethiopian capital but clashes have continued despite the signing of a ceasefire in December.
The ceasefire agreement was intended to revive a 2015 peace deal, which lasted less than a year before collapsing.