Military coup foiled in South Sudan

Khartoum, Dec 16: South Sudan Monday announced that it had foiled a military coup against the government plotted by its sacked vice president Riek Machar.

“The armed clashes which occurred last night and Monday morning were a military coup attempt planned by Riek Machar,” said a statement issued by South Sudan’s presidency, a copy of which was obtained by Xinhua.

“The situation has completely been controlled and the attempt failed,” added the statement, noting that the incident is being investigated for full details.

In the statement, the presidency declared a state of emergency until further notice and imposed a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a. m.

Meanwhile, South Sudanese media quoted South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit as saying that the coup attempt was supported by some army units in the country’s capital Juba.

Kiir reiterated the army’s control of the situation following violent clashes, describing the incident as “a crime against the people of South Sudan”.

Deep differences emerged between two groups within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) after Kiir fired his vice president Riek Machar last July.

Some SPLM leaders, led by Machar, reportedly withdrew Sunday from a meeting of the National Liberation Council, the highest body in the party, in protest against what they said was absence of dialogue spirit.

In addition, another group known as the Democratic Progressive Trend within the SPLM, also purportedly urged Kiir during the meeting to retire and not to run in the 2015 elections.

IANS