Garang’s widow speaks out on attempted coup
Posted Wednesday, December 18 2013 at 00:00
Rebecca Garang, wife of South Sudan former president John Garang, broke her silence yesterday on the unrest in South Sudan, saying the coup plot tagged on her is “politically-motivated”
Speaking to the BBC, the widow, who is said to belong to the camp against President Salav Kiir said that she was not safe and had been put under house arrest.
“I’m in my house and it’s next to the house of President. As they were arresting these people, they were moving towards my house like an hour ago. I’m not really safe,” she said.
Ms Garang denied she participated in the thwarted coup.
“I don’t know how a politician or a civilian can make a coup. Coups are always made by army officers. But those people, who were arrested, are not army officers. They were politicians calling for democracy within our party,” she added.
She defended the suspended SPLM secretary general, Pagan Amum and the former vice president, Riek Machaar, saying they were calling for democratisation of the party and never participated in the alleged Coup de tat.
Ms Garang told BBC she didn’t know the whereabouts of Machaar and claimed that people from Nuer tribe, were being killed. “It’s very difficult to tell where he is”.
She claimed security operatives wanted to arrest her yesterday feared the recuperations. “They decided to keep me in the house and not go anywhere” she said.
Ms Garang remained at her house in Juba yesterday afternoon and sources in the city said President Kiir had ordered officials not to arrest her.
Meanwhil addressing journalists at his Nakasero office in Kampala yesterday, South Sudan Ambassador to Uganda, Samuel Luate Lominsuk said his government got concerned when sacked former Vice President and a host of other former SPLM leaders failed to attend the party’s meeting intensifying suspicion of their involvement in the coup.
“This 3rd extra ordinary session was to be attended by all the senior SPLM executives including Dr Riek Machar who is currently deputy chairperson of the party. However it turned out that Machar was not in attendance together with other senior members of the party who have issues to the chairmanship of the party” Amb. Luate said.
He added: “Motives for this group not attending the party’s session was not clear to the rest of the members who were in attendance”
He said it was within this juncture that they attempted to take control of the barracks in an attempt to secure weapons to carry out a coup against government.
The Juba government said it had arrested 10 people. Former ministers Oyay Deng Ajak, Geir Choung Aloung, Majak Agot, John Luk Jok, Cirino Hiteng, Koul Tong Mayai, Izekeli Lul, Deng Alor Koul, Madut Bier, Kosti Manibe.
They are searching for Riek Machar, Alfred Ladu Gore, Pagam Amum, Taban Deng Gai, Adwok Nyaba and Rebeca Garang.