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South Sudan president says coup has been repulsed

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 16, 2013 at 9:54 a.m.

JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan's president Monday ordered a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the capital after soldiers loyal to the former deputy attempted to seize power by force, leading to clashes between military factions that highlight the growing instability of the world's youngest nation.

Flanked by government officials, President Salva Kiir, who put on fatigues with an army general's epaulets inside of his usual gentleman's suit, said Monday in a televised address to the nation that the military had foiled a coup orchestrated by "a group of soldiers allied with the former vice president." The soldiers had attacked the South Sudanese military headquarters near Juba University late Sunday, sparking sporadic bursts of gunfire that continued Monday, he said.

"The attackers went and [the] armed forces are pursuing them," Kiir said Monday. "I promise you today that justice will prevail."

The government is now "in full control of the military situation" in Juba, he said, insisting his government could only be removed though elections.

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