Was it a failed coup or a failed assassination?

By: Weirial Puok Balaung

They [Kiir’s group] may have thought that these people did not come to the meeting and so they were maybe planning a coup. So they made a decision that these people would be arrested. Some of them said they would try to make something so they could accuse these people of planning a coup and arrest them. This is what happened,” Mama Nyandeng De Mabiour (the mother of the nation) told the London-based publication

February 26, 2014 (SSNA) — In the modern world, the killing of important people began to become more than a tool in power struggles between rulers themselves and was also used for political symbolism, such as in the propaganda of the deed.

My wonderful readers for us to be able to know whether the incident of the 15/Dec/2013 that turned our country into abyss was a failed coup or a failed assassination; we need to differentiate/define the two English terms differently (Failed coup and failed assassination).

To begin with,

A coup d’état

Also known as a coup, a putsch, or an overthrow, is the sudden deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to depose the extant government and replace it with another body, civil or military. A coup d’état is considered successful when the usurpers establish their dominance. When the coup neither fails completely nor succeeds, a civil war is a likely consequence.

A coup d’état typically uses the extant government’s power to assume political control of the country. In Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook, military historian Edward Luttwak states that "[a] coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder." The armed forces, whether military or paramilitary, are not a defining factor of a coup d’état. Lately a view that all coups are a danger to democracy and stability has been challenged by the notion of a "democratic coup d’état", which "respond to a popular uprising against an authoritarian or totalitarian regime and topple that regime for the limited purpose of holding the free and fair elections of civilian leaders. Sometimes opposition takes the form of civil resistance, in which the coup is met with mass demonstrations from the population generally, and disobedience among civil servants and members of the armed forces.  

The international community did not condemn the 15/Dec/2013 claiming that there is no sign /symptom or evidence to show that it was a coup. Therefore, our president has accused the international community over their refusal to condemn what he said was a failed coup attempt by those opposed to his leadership.

An assassination

Assassination is the murder of a prominent person or political figure by a surprise attack, usually for payment or political reasons.

An assassination may be prompted by religious, ideological, political, or military motives; it is an act that may be done for financial gain, to avenge a grievance, from a desire to acquire fame or notoriety, or because of a military or security services command to carry out the murder. Assassination is done so that you end all the activities of your opponent.

To come to the reality about what the incident was

The incidence in Juba had no evidence to prove it was a coup attempt; the aftermath of the violence resulted to the mutiny but did not qualify to be called a coup. ‘To stage a “military coup” has its own prerequisites, which, if not met then there would be no “coup”, which could be mutiny,”

Staging a coup attempt there must be very important institutions such as presidential palace, residence, military headquarters, national TV and radio as well as the central bank to be captured first before the announcement.

The incident came after a failed plan to disarmed Nuer soldiers deployed as Presidential guards at Jabel barracks in Juba and later fabricated and manipulated by Kiir to implicate his political rivals calling it a coup attempted.

Others view this as tit for tat method used by Kiir’s associates to eliminate Nuer tribes in revenge of 1991 Bor incident which Kuol Manyang and Makuei Lueth are intentionally interesting of it.

Incident qualify that it was a failed assassination from Kiir against his political opponents and not a failed coup as pronounced by pro_Kiir government officials, Should it be pronounce as a failed assassination it will sound good.

The incident could have targeted the politicians only (according to the planned ploy to get rid of Kiir’s opponent) but was misunderstood by president’s militias (Gelweng) for their little knowledge of military training. Gelweng considered the assassination of Dr Riek Machar as a general killing of whoever shares tribe with him (Riek). That was the reasons that let patriotic hearted south Sudanese Generals like Peter Gatdet, Tangginya Aka (Gatwech Chan) Peter Koang Chuol, Gathoth Gatkuoth and many more Generals to defect from the army.

To me, shouldn’t Kiir massacred Nuer civilians, than he would still have a good support from the Nuer community through the wanted politicians unlike groundless politicians and Generals like Riek Gai Kok, Gathoth, Gony, Nguen Munytuil, Kok Ruei, so on and so forth. Those politicians are just a financial run after, and not a real people to make Kiir be in power since politic is about interest.

In conclusion,

South Sudanese people from different walks of life must embrace peace so that we build our nation, I also argue Nuer community to accept peace and forget about thousands of innocents People they have lost because forgiving someone doesn’t meant forgetting.

Forgiving kiir and his few individuals who tortured, killed, raped, and burned down Nuer lands (Unity) and other war crimes against humanity against the entire Nuer community is a best revenge since south Sudan is for us all.

Long live the unity of south Sudanese people!!!
Long live the Republic of South Sudan!!!

Weirial Puok Baluang is a concerned citizen of south Sudan; he can be reach through [email protected].

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