South Sudan says arrests 10, hunts ex-VP over "foiled coup"

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 11:05 AM
South Sudan says arrests 10, hunts ex-VP over "foiled coup"

JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudan said on Tuesday it had arrested 10 senior political figures and was hunting for its former vice president over a "foiled coup", as gunfire rang out a day after rival forces of soldiers clashed in the oil-producing nation's capital.

The prominence of the names - including former finance minister Kosti Manibe among the detained - underlined the size of the rift in the country, less than 2-1/2 years after it seceded from Sudan.

"Those who are still at large will be apprehended," Information Minister Micheal Makuei said in a statement on a government website, which listed four other people still "at large".

President Salva Kiir said on Monday the fighting between army factions was a bid to seize power by the former vice president, Riek Machar, whom he sacked in July.

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The two men, from different ethnic groups which have clashed in the past, have long been political rivals.

(Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Andrew Heavens)