JUBA: In a what appears to be a desperate move to amass evidence to pin of what it calls a ‘failed coup attempt’, Juba could question high-ranking generals in the organized forces of Uganda and Kenya who Juba believes conspired with some of the detained politicians to overthrow the government of President Kiir.
According to highly trusted sources in Juba, generals in some East African countries met with the political detainees over time discussing regime change in Africa’s newest nation.
One of the detained politicians, war hero and former SPLA Chief of Staff Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak has been singled out to have conducted these secret meetings.
Gen. Gier Chuang, another former detainee released on bail to the Kenyan Government, is also said to have met and conspired with these foreign generals.
A reliable source who until recently worked with the National Security Service (NSS) in Juba said top-secret intelligence reports gathered prior to the detention of the politicians suggest that Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak and Gen. Gier Chuang frequently flew to the capitals of these East African countries for the secret meetings with some of their war-time Kenyan and Ugandan friends who are currently high-ranking generals in organized forces of their countries.
Although no names have been revealed, it is yet unclear whether Juba would request the cooperation of Kenya, Uganda (or any other East African country) to question these suspects.
With international pressure mounting to release these politicians and with the flopped attempt by Juba to package and sell the cause of the crisis as an attempted coup, it is not clear how far Juba is willing to go to pin blame on these politicians who have publicly challenged the current leadership and called for change.
According to a security expert volunteering with Saakam, “Juba does not have the right or jurisdiction to question these generals for a crime that is yet to be proven that took place outside the borders of South Sudan.”
Although the presidents of Kenya and Uganda have since held closed-door meetings with the President of South Sudan, it is yet to be known whether these issues and intelligence were shared or tabled for discussion.
“In a normal court of law, the evidence that Juba claims to have will not be admissible considering the information was secretly and illegally gathered – or what you call spying – in a foreign country probably without the knowledge of those countries,” he added.
The trials of some of the detained started this week in Juba.
With Ugandan troops (UPDF) already fighting along side the South Sudanese Army (SPLA), and Kenya taking a key role in trying to resolve the conflict, we asked the security expert what the implications could be if indeed Juba succeeds to prove a connection.
“We can only wait and see,” he said cautiously.