The widow of Dr John Garang, the South Sudan liberation leader and Â first president who died in an air crash, has been put under house arrest by President Salva Kiir.
Rebecca Garang is among 10 politicians accused of attempted coup in Juba. While Kiir ordered she be not arrested, her movement has been restricted and cannot leave her house.
She lashed out at Kiir, blaming her husband’s successor of creating a situation where “he can do what he is doing now”.
â€œThis is what they want because they want to continue the dictatorship,â€ she continued. â€œIâ€™m not really safe, because the government claims I’m one of the people who is making a coup,â€ she added.
â€œBut I donâ€™t know how a civilian or a politician can make a coup? A coup is always being made by an army officer. But those people they have arrested were not army officers â€“ we are politicians,â€ sh told BBC Radio.
â€œWe were calling for democracy within our party. But this is what they want, because they want to continue with dictatorship.â€
Spokesmen of the government including the presidentâ€™s press secretary and information minister have described the recent conflict in the capital as stemming from a â€œfoiled coup plot.â€
They announced the names of ten senior politicians, most of them former ministers, accused of involvement in the â€˜coupâ€™. The development comes in the wake of meetings of the SPLM National Liberation Council last week and this past weekend, during which some key party officials walked out.
At least two governors, those of Upper Nile and Unity State, are present in Juba with the president. No current governors are accused of involvement in the alleged plot, but one former governor was among those arrested.
Pagâ€™an Amum reportedly arrested
Garang pointed to the suspension and more recent removal of the SPLM Secretary-General Pagâ€™an Amum as a sign of authoritarianism in the party.
â€œPagâ€™an Amun was suspended… and we have been calling for restructuring and democratization of the party, and our chairman has been resisting.Â That is why there is this problem,â€ she said.
She also stated that the SPLM former secretary-general was arrested: â€œPagâ€™an Amun was taken by National Security this morning.â€
This development was not independently confirmed elsewhere, and on the governmentâ€™s website on Tuesday afternoon he was listed as still at large.
Amum inÂ remarksÂ on Monday was defiant and harshly critical of the president.
For her part, Rebecca Garang has not been ordered arrested. â€œEven yesterday they want me arrested too but they think it will bring repercussions on them so they said: ‘Let her stay in the house, she will not go anywhere, we will get her.â€™
She added she that intermediaries had been gone between herself and the president, but no audience was arranged.
Audio: Listen to the full interview with Rebecca GarangÂ here.