geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>Machar, whose forces launched a brutal rebellion in the Upper Nile to capture power in Juba, said in a statement on the third anniversary of the youngest nation in the world that a war was imposed on him.
“I want to avail myself of this opportunity to refute the falsehood of Salva Kiir’s coup attempt narrative. The coup story that has plunged our country into abyss was a plot by Salva to do away with his political opponents by instilling fear in our people through targeting killing of one ethnic group and now also targeting citizens of South Sudan who express their views on federalism in the country in an attempt to assert his rule of dictatorship,” charged Machar.
When war broke out in Juba between the Dinka and Neur in the commando Tiger Battalion that guards the President, several people were killed in the capital city due to the use of heavy weapons and also considering that this was an elite and battle-hardened force.
Parts of the presidential palace were destroyed in the fighting and some staff severely injured.
Government insists Machar attempted to seize power by use of force after losing support in the ruling party’s meeting where he was advocating for reforms to propel him to the highest political office in the land.
“In all honesty it is difficult to mark this day this year as a joyous occasion because of the prevailing situation caused by the “uncalled for war” which our people are subjected to now; and because of the serious undermining of our hard earned sovereignty as evident by the presence of foreign forces and mercenaries in our country and by again experiencing similar ills of the decades that we and our forefathers rose against in the log relentless struggle and sacrifices of our people for justice, peace, freedom, equality, democracy and prosperity,” said Machar.
“SPLM/SPLA emerged as a resistance movement to Salva Kiir’s military action against us on December 15, 2013 when he decided against the political dialogue that was ongoing within the SPLM on issues of democracy, freedoms, justice and governance.”
With reports that some influential figures in the West are behind Machar in revenge against Kiir who handed lucrative oil contracts to China, the President recently said, “political manipulations intended to compromise our constitution and cause more problems will not be allowed.”
“Our people overwhelmingly elected me as president and nobody has right and power to remove me except the people,” added Kiir.
Machar today said the SPLM is “committed to a process of reconciliation, healing and accountability in order to foster the unity of our people and to preserve the territorial integrity of our country.”
Speaking in Juba on Wednesday, President Kiir told his countrymen: “My pledge to you, when you cry, we cry, and when you bleed we bleed. I pledge today that we will find just peace for all.”
“Always remember our heroes who paid the ultimate price to let us celebrate the independence of our country,” said Kiir.