- SPLA generals wait for the start of independence celebrations in Juba, South Sudan, Saturday, July 9, 2011. (AP)
Last Saturday rumours of failed military coup attempt in Juba sent out chilling panic in the city and became the talk of people on the streets.
It was said that the loyalists of late Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) leader, John Garang, sometimes known as the ‘Garang’s Boys’ who are high ranking officers in the army, were plotting to capture power from Kiir by military coup.
It was also specifically rumoured that the deputy commander of the Military Intelligence (MI), Major General Mac Paul, from Bor community, was arrested with 15 other officers the following day and were taken to Yie military prison on Sunday accused of actively participating in the plot.
On Monday 30 July, a week later, for the first time President Salva Kiir came out publicly to denounce the rumour of the coup d’état, accusing Khartoum of being behind the instigation.
Kiir, while addressing the masses on the martyr day at the mausoleum of late John Garang, dismissed the rumour and called on the people to remain calm and refuse to listen to Khartoum.
All the main roads leading to his residence in Hai Amarat area were immediately sealed off with blockades just a day after the rumours surfaced and have remained so, making it difficult for cars to pass through the area.
This rumour of a failed coup attempt against Kiir is the third of its kind and has always been linked to the same group of officers.
However, the collective leadership has not shown any signs of worry and has always dismissed the allegations as work of the enemy.
The army’s Chief of General Staff, General James Hoth Mai, in an indirect reference to the military coup plot told the masses at the occasion that his army was committed to democratic processes in the country.