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South Sudan denies coup plot against President Kiir


October 12, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government has dismissed as wild rumours reports that there was a conspiracy to take over power from President Salva Kiir by a group comprising politicians, military officers and tribal leaders in the capital, Juba.

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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir attends the reopening of parliamentary sessions in Juba, South Sudan on June 11, 2012. (Photo Giulio Petrocco/AFP/GettyImages)

This comes after a wild rumour was successfully circulated in the capital, Juba, and beyond for the past two days that President Kiir was dying and that there was power struggle between politicians and senior army commanders over who should succeed him if he died.

Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth in response convened a news conference on Wednesday at which denied the rumours that there was an attempted coup being organized by former dissidents of Riek Machar, politicians from the Equatoria region and members of ethnic Murle tribe in Juba.

“All these are wild rumours which are usually created in order to cause havoc and inculcate fear into the people in Juba, and people are advised to leave Juba claiming that the situation will worsen in Juba this time round,” Lueth told reporters at a news conference also broadcast live by the state owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC).

“There is nothing like [that]. These are just creations of some people to cause confusion,” he said.

Lueth, who speaks as the official government spokesperson asserted that the situation was under control in Juba as well as the security situation across the country. He advised people not to panic.

He also dismissed reports that there was an ongoing killing in the capital in retaliation to the roadside ambushes in which passengers predominantly members of the Dinka, from which president Kiir hails, were targeted last week while traveling in a convoy of commercial vehicles which he said were stopped at gunpoint by unknown gunmen.

The minister also dismissed the rumour circulating the death of President Salva Kiir in Juba.

“Yesterday another mad person decided to put in the media that Salva Kiir is dead, it was also another problem, and I have been receiving calls all over the world that Salva Kiir is dead, and this is done here, this is unfortunate,” he explained.

The minister threatened to cut off internet services across the country, claiming that measures if taken, would not allow warmongers to continue to circulate rumours in order to cause insecurity in the country.

“Yesterday I was called and asked a clear question, is Salva Kiir dead or alive, this was a direct question, and I said no, this is a mere lie, there is nothing as such, Salva Kiir has not even been sick, he was in the office since morning up to this afternoon, he left the office at 4:30 pm, and at present he is in his house,” said Lueth, without elaborating on the source of the news and who called him to ask.

He continued that: “There is no killing of any body, and if there will be any killing, it will be by law, when we apprehend those culprits, we will take them to book, and they will answer.”

The source of the plot to remove from power president Salva Kiir and his death remains unclear. Observers say there were circulations on social media alleging the death of the president until his spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, came out with a release claiming to refute the allegation on the social media. He did not cite source of the allegation.

Critics and political analysts are keen to stress that the story was made by some government officials in order to deflect the public outcry about the rising insecurity on major high ways compounded by economic crisis.

“They make up their own stories and come out to deny them,” a political analyst who did not want to be named, told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday when asked to comment on the two allegations.

“I am surprised the minister of information came out to convene a press conference when there was any allegation circulating anywhere whatsoever. I checked major news sources and I failed to get [it]. What I got was what the presidential press secretary Ateny Wek Ateny himself circulated in the press. He did not cite any source. He was himself the source of the statement denying the allegations and no more source of the allegation he was denying,” he challenged.

“Also the story of coup plot was another made story. The whole intention is to deflect the attention of the public from demanding protection from the government. They (government officials) feared that if they do not come out with such scary story, the public may go out to protest their ineptness in protecting the population,” he said.


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  • 12 October 23:49, by Mr Point

    This makes a change!
    Salva Kiir has invented seven coups before when there wasn’t a coup (I have previously listed them). Now he send his people out to deny a coup was attempted. They are more experienced in pretending there was a coup when there wasn’t.
    Anyway it will lead to a crackdown on his imagined enemies.

    repondre message

    • 13 October 07:28, by Akuma

      Mr. Pointless,

      Please avail with those seven coups for the readers to believed on your prove.

      repondre message

      • 13 October 08:34, by Junubi

        Mr Akuma,
        I would like to tell you that Mr Point is right because what happen between Salva Kiir and SDr John Garang was a coup if Dr Machar did not intervene and manage to advice Mr current President. What evident do you want again? but you Dinka did not say the trust though it is the real point.

        repondre message

      • 13 October 10:00, by Mr Point

        7 times Kiir said there was a attempted coup and regime change

        2004 John Garang & Nhial Deng Nhial
        2006 Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak
        2007 Gen Mamur
        2011 Majak D’Agoot & Nhial Deng Nhial
        2012 Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Dual
        2013 SPLM Former Detainees
        2016 Riek Machar

        repondre message

  • 13 October 01:02, by Dinka-Defender-General

    Guys, just calm down because the general is in control of the situation right now. Wait for further news. Thanks!

    repondre message

  • 13 October 03:24, by Equatoria1

    The Wild Dogs, who were once best known for their ability & willingness to plan and coordinate their ambush against their prey are now about to tear themselves apart after the kill.
    I say give me pop corns and turn the tv on!!!

    repondre message

  • 13 October 08:59, by Wise Murle

    Ladies and gentlemen!
    The issue is not about whether the president has died or alive but the big picture is that, our leader has never come out with words of condemnation since day one of insecurity in Juba. Give yourselves a chance and look at the bottom of this article on the last paragraph for analysis side. You will see that our government and the president himself has been mocked

    repondre message

  • 13 October 10:22, by Dengda

    Fact must be say, there was a tension within the government itself last week and Monday. Kiir is planning to leave the power for treatment abroad as per Doctor advised. When asked who will replaced him. He said Kuol will and when Malong heard it. He threat government and deployed his forced and blocking all roads on Tue night at 8pm. Kiir is not actual dead but seriously ill, he often collapses.

    repondre message

    • 13 October 10:26, by Dengda

      Taban think he would too as FVP that what Malong Mad, but Wani as suppose and VP on other hand is the one proposing Kuol cited he can’t manage war at current stake.

      repondre message

    • 13 October 12:35, by Mopedi

      Those scrambled for power on the eve of Tuesday witnessed that Salva was in coma for 4 hours after he heard about the Car ambushed which killed four children of his sister in Yei -Ganyi road.
      They should have finish him up.

      repondre message

  • 13 October 12:28, by Mopedi

    It’s obvious that soon or later in a coup or not as he claims several times, the president will depart, the blood of innocent civilian is play it roles. if you may ask Kiir to every morning explain what happens each night certainty no answer, he is being disturbs by the innocent people he killed. let him die soon and may his soul rest in hell

    repondre message

  • 13 October 12:52, by Mopedi

    Salva has claimed to have chosen lesser evils to work with, but please this is the time he must turn around and fight that very same evils if he want to see glory.
    I meant he claimed JCE,Malong,Taban, Kual Manyany are good men! all are evils he should turn around to fight them if he is to see more days a head.

    repondre message

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