December 17, 2013 (JUBA) – A youth group linked to South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party has strongly condemned Sunday’s “coup attempt” in the capital, Juba.
- Members of the concerned group for restructuring of the SPLM youth league at a press conference in Juba on March 22, 2012 (ST)
Continuous gunfire rocked the city after a group, allegedly loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar, attacked a military base in Juba, before they were repulsed by pro-government forces.
The SPLM concerned youth group, in a statement, said those who defended the nation did so with “bravery” and “unmatched” commitment.
“We pray to God to provide their families with the necessary strength to endure. Our prayers are also with the innocent civilians who were caught up the crossfire,” partly reads the statement.
At least 13,000 people, the United Nations said, are currently holed up within their premises after the violence that broke up in Juba.
Meanwhile, the group urged youth all over the country to refrain from engaging in acts of violence and that they should allow to be used by “misguided” politicians as tools of evil.
“The future belongs to us and we must not allow it to be destroyed”, noted the statement, signed by its chairperson, Agel Ring Machar.
“We also appeal to all politicians within and out of the SPLM who have leadership ambitions however legitimate to pursue them through democratic means,” it added.
On Tuesday, South Sudan government announced it had arrested 10 of its former senior officials in connection with the incident, which has left over 60 dead and hundreds wounded.
It however said four others, including Machar remain at large.
“We call on these leaders to refrain from inciting soldiers against the state and their commander-in-chief for their own selfish political gains”, the statement, extended to Sudan Tribune, stressed.
We the SPLM-concerned youth group rejects in totality the notion and culture of using violence as a means to attain, retain or transfer power, it added.
President Salva Kiir, the group said, was the “democratically” elected leader of the country and that those vying for his position should wait for the ballot, not with bullets.
"The conflict is not between the Dinka and Nuer, but between government and those who lost power in the July reshuffle. We urge security forces to act with restrain in order to avoid the conflict from taking an ethnic dimension", Agel said on Tuesday.
The young nation is expected to hold its first post-independence elections in 2015, despite fears of possible delays in the process.