16 December 2013

South Sudan: Ex-Minister Arrested Over Alleged 'Coup'

Photo: Arne Doornebal/ RNW
Sudan Air defence.

Juba — A former minister in South Sudan government has been arrested for being behind the alleged coup attempt in the country's capital, Juba. Gier Chuang Aluong was reportedly arrested this morning by the security personnel supposedly acting under the directive of the country's president, Salva Kiir.

Kiir told a press conference that the limited fighting in the military barracks in Juba was an act of attempted coup and vowed to bring to justice those that are responsible.

The president directly accused the former vice-president, Riek Machar, who is currently in Juba, of having soldiers allied to him attack the military barracks. But Kiir said those involved in the attack would be pursued and vowed to ensure they faced justice, if found guilty.

It is, however, unclear how the ex-minister was directly connected the said "coup attempt." Aluong, who hails from the Pigi county in Jonglei state inhabited by members of the Ngok Dinka, served as the national minister for interior prior to South Sudan's independence and later as minister for roads and bridges in the new government formed after July 2011.

He recently allied to Machar's group that has openly criticised president Kiir's style of leadership.

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