August 27, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese presidency has dismissed rumours of an assassination attempt on president Salva Kiir as “fabricated lies” meant to “scare-off” the latter from representing the country at international forums.
- Salva Kiir attends the signing of the standard gauge railway agreement with China in Nairobi, Kenya, on 11 May 2014 (Photo: AP/Thomas Mukoya)
“The Office of the President would like to categorically deny these allegations as false. It has no basis. No truth. Never did the president come closer to any attempt on his life whilst he travels abroad in search for peace,” say a press statement released by presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny on Wednesday.
“The Office of the President would like to condemn this type of rumour-mongering in strongest term possible, and call on the people of South Sudan to disregard these lies,” the statement said.
The denial comes after the circulation in social media and some outlets of a statement released by government supporters accusing SPLM in Opposition official Mabior Garang Mabior of attempting to kill the president during his recent visit to the Addis Ababa to participate in a meeting between IGAD leaders.
“If Mabior Garang was arrested in Ethiopia, then it has no connection with any attempt to assassinate the president. Otherwise, the responsibility of such arrest has not been shared by the Ethiopian’s intelligence with the president,” Ateny said.
Mabior, who is the son of the late founding leader of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), John Garang, is currently the head of the rebel information and communications committee.
The rumour said he had been arrested “at the reception of president Kiir’s hotel with a 9mm pistol cocked with six bullets”.
The rebel official who is a member of the rebel negotiating team has yet to react to the claims.