Riek Machar in hiding, Pagan Amum in security headquarters
The two key SPLM leaders accused for being behind a coup attempt in Juba are still alive. Former secretary general Pagan Amum is detained in the national security headquarters at Jebel in Juba, while the former vice president Riek Machar is in hiding in South Sudan.
Pagan Amum’s brother confirmed last night that his brother was arrested in his house together with his bodyguard. Riek Machar gave a phone interview with the Sudan Tribune website from an undisclosed location.
He said in the interview that President Salva Kiir of South Sudan is “no longer a legal president."
Riek Machar repeated his denial on Monday being involved in any coup attempt: "There was no coup. What took place in Juba was a misunderstanding between presidential guards within their division. It was not a coup attempt. I have no connection with or knowledge of any coup attempt."
President Kiir announced Tuesday he is still hunting for his former ally in the government, but Machar does not want to say what he is planning to do.
He said that he and the other SPLM leaders who were dismissed are victimized: “What we wanted was to democratically transform the SPLM. But Salva Kiir wanted to use the alleged coup attempt in order to get rid of us to control the government and the SPLM. We don’t want him the president of South Sudan any more."
The confirmed list of politicians in detention has grown to eleven, including Pagan Amum, former Minister for National Security Oyay Deng Ajak, ex-Internal Affairs Minister Gier Choung Aloung, former Deputy Minister of Defense Majak D’Agoot,
Former Minister of Justice John Luk Jok, the ex-Minister of Culture Cirino Hiteng, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs Deng Alor Koul, former Minister of Telecommunications Madut Biar, former Minister of Finance Kosti Manibe, former Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and former Lakes Governor Chol Tong Mayay.
Besides Riek Machar, the government announced still searching for Lt. General Alfred Ladu Gore, the ex-Governor of Unity State Taban Deng Gai and the former Minister of Education Peter Adwok Nyaba.