South Sudan ‘coup leaders’ Face Treason Trial

Taking a tough line, South Sudan's Minister for Justice Paulino Wanawila explains plans to try rebel leaders
Taking a tough line, South Sudan’s Minister for Justice Paulino Wanawila explains plans to try rebel leaders

Seven South Sudanese rebel leaders face charges of treason over an alleged coup attempt that sparked weeks of fighting, the authorities have said.

Justice Minister Paulino Wanawila said those facing trial included former Vice President Riek Machar, who has not yet been captured.

The government had previously indicated that it might grant an amnesty, after signing a truce last Thursday.

Correspondents say the charges could jeopardise the ceasefire deal.

Mr Wanawila said treason charges would be brought against four men who were already in custody, plus three men on the run.

“If someone violates the law you don’t go and torture that person, you prosecute that person according to the law,” he said.

The government confirmed that some of those detained after the fighting broke out have been released.

It underscores the animosity between the government of President Salva Kiir and the rebels, many of whom are loyal to Mr Machar.

Although both men have supporters from across South Sudan’s ethnic divides, fighting has often been communal, with rebels targeting members of Mr Kiir’s Dinka ethnic group and government soldiers attacking Nuers.

Mr Kiir accused Mr Machar and other former officials of attempting a coup after fighting broke out in the capital Juba on 15 December, something Mr Machar denies.

While Mr Machar fled, 11 officials were arrested. Rebels have made their release a condition of any peace deal.

On Wednesday, the government announced that seven of those officials have now been freed and flown to Kenya, but the other four will be put on trial.

2 thoughts on “South Sudan ‘coup leaders’ Face Treason Trial

    1. I tell you! Machar, Kiir and Museveni. These three lead the armies that are torturing Sudanese men and women.

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