12/17/2013

Former South Sudan ministers arrested over 'coup'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25422698

Ten senior political figures, including the former finance minister, have been arrested in South Sudan after a coup attempt, the government has said.
The authorities are looking to question five other prominent figures, including former Vice-President Riek Machar.
The country has seen two days of violent clashes, which President Salva Kiir blames on soldiers loyal to Mr Machar, who was dismissed in July.
More than 60 soldiers have been killed in the clashes, doctors have said.

Analysis

The continued clashes are undercutting President Salva Kiir's claim on Monday that the government was in "full control" of the situation.
There are two possible - and not necessarily mutually exclusive - explanations for what is happening.
The first, the president's version, is that the army is fighting off an attack by soldiers allied to the former Vice-President, Riek Machar.
The second is that the president has taken advantage of the military flare-up to crack down on many of those who have criticised him.
A showdown between Kiir and Machar is not unexpected. South Sudan is now at a critical point.
The UN says up to 13,000 people have sought shelter from the violence at its compounds in the capital, Juba.
President Kiir said the clashes began when uniformed personnel opened fire at a meeting of the ruling party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), on Sunday night.
The violence continued into Monday, until the government said it was back in full control.
But fresh gunfire erupted on Tuesday near the presidential palace and many other areas of Juba.
A night-time curfew is in place, and the US has ordered all non-emergency embassy staff to leave the country.

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