South Sudan president Salva Kiir says ‘attempted coup’ defeated

South Sudan’s president said Monday he had defeated a coup attempt by a political rival following a night of fighting in the capital Juba.

“This was an attempted coup,” President Salva Kiir told reporters.

He also said in a statement that the “government is in full control of the security situation in Juba. The attackers fled and our forces are pursuing them.”

A curfew has also been imposed from 6am to 6pm.

Kiir, dressed in full military uniform, accused former vice-president Riek Machar of being behind the unrest.

TRIED TO LOOT

Violence erupted on Sunday night at a military base in the Gieda suburb, where some soldiers allegedly tried to loot a military store in an attempt to overrun the military headquarters at Bilpham.

Kiir said localised shootings started at 6pm on Sunday, following the conclusion of the ruling party’s National Liberation Council.

Machar has been challenging Kiir for leadership of the party.

Senior military officials said arrests have been made but the identities of those arrested were not revealed.

Kenya Airways on Monday suspended all flights to and from Juba, after the airport in the capital was closed that morning.-nation.co.ke

President Salva Kiir of South Sudan (R) with then vice-president Riek Machar during a rally in 2010. PHOTO | FILE

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