On the night of December 16th, 2013, heavy fighting broke out between South Sudan soldiers and the opposition forces at the young nation’s capital in Juba. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (IO), led by Vice President Riek Machar had laid siege at President Salva Kiir official residence in a botched attempt to overthrow the South Sudan leader.
Eight years later, President Kiir explains what happened that night and how Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta ‘betrayed’ him after the failed attempt to overthrow his government.
Speaking to a local media, President Kiir says after containing the coup and arresting its leaders, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in 2013 reached out to Kenya to help free the South Sudan political prisoners, and fly them out through Nairobi, to Europe and the United States.
”I am not happy with Kenya because, after the attempted Sudan coup of 2013, President Uhuru under IGAD took the lead and said he was coming to take the leaders that I had apprehended during the coup. I told him that I could not hand over the people to him so that they could answer to charges and shed light on their role in the coup,” President Kiir said.
”But on that evening I tuned into Kenyan news where I saw President Uhuru receiving the detainees. They were later released and given travel documents and some went to Ethiopia, Europe, and even America,” he added.
President Kiir however says, the events are now water under the bridge, and his relationship with President Uhuru is not destroyed, only that he was disappointed at him at that time.
”My relationship with President Kenyatta now is good. I told him as my brother that I was disappointed in his actions but he said he thought he was doing what was right at the time.”