19 December 2013

South Sudan: Total Normalcy Has Been Restored in Juba

Photo: George Mindruta/UN
Civilians arriving at the UN House compound in the southwestern outskirts of Juba, seeking protection from recent fighting in the capital.

press release

Juba — South Sudan ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has issued an assurance to the foreign diplomatic corps, UN and international organizations accredited to the Republic of South Sudan that civil tranquility has been fully restored following the 'aborted coup of former Vice President Riek Machar'.

As a sign of normalcy, the ministry in a media advisory said Juba International Airport has resumed domestic and International flights; Government ministries at the federal and state levels are discharging theirs duties and businesses across Juba town are open.

'The ministry of Foreign Affairs can now assure the South Sudanese public and the world at large that Government security forces are in absolute control of the situation. There is therefore no need to panic or engage on haphazard evacuation", the press advisory signed by the minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin read in part.

More so, the ministry refuted reports particularly in the international media that having been trying to define the 'failed coup' along lines of ethnicity.

"The ministry would like to assure the public and the international community that the attempted coup had nothing to do with ethnicity but rather with the power ambitions of Riek Machar and his co-potters. It suffices to mention that out of 11 politicians now detained, only two hail from Nuer Community. This message has been made clear to all communities in South Sudan, including civil society and church leaders", Dr. Benjamin stressed.

He said any attempt to portray the coup, as an ethnic conflict must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. He said as spelt by the President and Chairman of the ruling party Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM), both the Government and the ruling party have made public commitment to peaceful transfer of power through legitimate and democratic means. Any attempt to use force to seize power, he said should not be condemned but firmly dealt with.

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