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Vol 54 No 16

Published 2nd August 2013

South Sudan

A power struggle, not a coup

President Salva has opened the leadership contest by sacking his deputy and all his ministers – and has strengthened his position in the process

When President Salva Kiir Mayardit sacked his Vice-President, all his ministers, the governing party’s Secretary General and several senior police officers on 23 July, the world greeted it as a coup. It was followed by an anxious 24 hours when the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) deployed and people tried to find out what was happening. It seemed to confirm the pessimistic predictions of many foreign diplomats, aid workers and journalists, especially those who see him as politically naïve.

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