Five South Sudanese dissidents who in 2013 faced accusations of mounting a failed coup have returned home to South Sudan from Kenya following talks mediated by African leaders.

The dissidents were widely seen as allies of rebel leader Riek Machar when a fight emerged among government soldiers in the South Sudanese capital of Juba in December 2013. The government alleged a coup plot had been thwarted and detained some of Machar's allies as violence spread.

Some of the dissidents were later released and sent to Kenya under a mediation deal.

South Africa's deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, was among the African leaders who accompanied the dissidents back home to Juba.

Ramaphosa told reporters in Juba on Monday that the dissidents' return marked "a big day for peace in South Sudan."