South Sudan opposition under embattled leader Riek Machar said the claim by President Salva Kiir that the fighting which occurred at his presidential palace on 8 July was a coup attempt is false.
President Kiir in a series of media interviews has said his rival come vice president came to a palace meeting armed with a pistol in an attempt to assassinate him and takeover power.
Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak said President Kiir and his acolytes are using coup claims to win international sympathy but they do not add up.
“It seems President Kiir and his officials do not give up on claiming imaginary coups, although these claims have been rubbished by the whole world”. Dak told Sudan Tribune.
He said the claim of a coup attempt on 8 July 2016, was as false and a cover up because president Kiir had lured his rival to the palace reportedly to kill him. He wondered how a person invited in the palace would have come to execute a coup.
“You cannot go to a palace with 70 soldiers to stage a coup and lock yourself in a room with the person you are making a coup against while the palace is surrounded by hundreds of soldiers and tanks belonging to the person you allegedly want to oust. It doesn’t make sense at all. Common sense will tell you the claim is nonsensical,” Dak added
Dak who is currently in Nairobi said Kiir had previously been angered by the death of his five soldiers who were killed on Gudele road in Juba while attempting to disarm Machar’s bodyguards.
“The facts are already out there. Even the media organizations they talk to already know what the truth is by simply applying their common sense. This recent claim of a coup attempt has also been rubbished by the region and the international community at large, simply because it is false. .
Dak also said the claim that Machar went to palace with 400 soldiers in 21 military trucks was not true, saying the number of soldiers was only 70.
He also said Machar’s forces have only about 4 military trucks in their base and there was nowhere to get up to 21 military trucks as the government did not provide additional military vehicles for the office of the First Vice President.
In an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) Kiir said his rival Machar come to the statehouse meeting with a pistol, but it was not clear what his intentions were.
Credit: Sudan Tribune