Government condemns South Sudan coup

2013-12-19 06:00

(Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - Government has condemned an alleged coup attempt in South Sudan, the department of international relations said on Wednesday.

"The South African government learnt with shock and dismay of the alleged attempt, by disgruntled soldiers, to overthrow by violent means the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit," spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

"South Africa firmly believes that respect for democracy and human rights are essential to the governance of all African countries and that all violent means to overthrow legitimate governments must be rejected..." AFP reported that South Sudan's president said on Monday that he had defeated a coup attempt following a night of fierce fighting between rival troops.

The clashes broke out in a barracks close to the city centre shortly before midnight and spread across the city.

Across the city residents locked themselves in their homes or tried to flee to safer areas, it reported.

Kiir blamed troops loyal to his arch-rival, former vice president Riek Machar, who was sacked from the government in July.

Monyela said South Sudan was still in the process of unification, reconciliation and nation building, while trying to develop the country's government structures and institutions after its independence in 2011.

"It is therefore highly unfortunate that an attempt was allegedly made to undermine the stability of the country," he said.

The South African government called on the government of South Sudan and those opposing it to seek peaceful resolutions.

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