South Sudan president Salva Kiir has Wednesday afternoon used an open car to tour the capital Juba in what appeared a smart public relations move to dispel rumours about his health.
Reports earlier indicated that Kiir’s health had deteriorated on Tuesday night.
Despite assurances from the presidency, many traders opted to keep their shops closed.
There was heavy deployment of military forces in the city which equally fuelled the rumours of Kiir’s alleged death.
However, Kiir, accompanied by senior government officials, drove through Juba.
He kept waving at crowds along the streets. His convoy was under tight military escort right from the presidential palace.
Some presidency officials told this website that Kiir was today chairing “special meeting on the deployment of the regional force is underway at the president’s office. There is no cause for alarm.”
During the October 5 meeting with South Sudan First Vice President Gen Taban Deng, U.S. National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, “stressed the need for a rapid Deployment of the Regional Protection Force.”
However, most Generals including Kiir and Chief of Staff, Gen Paul Malong are opposed to the deployment of a force comprising regional forces to provide more security in the war-torn country.
Malong recently wondered whom the force would protect, saying the country is slowly realizing peace and stability.
The events in Juba come high on the heels of the fleeing of top ranking military general, Bapiny Minytuil.
Bapiny claimed in his resignation letter that Kiir was advised to assassinate Gen Deng in Juba, an allegation government dismissed as baseless and alarmist.