Nov. 27, 2016, Taban Deng Gai was ambushed on Thursday evening in the capital, Juba, and nearly assassinated.
The reports allege that although Taban survives, one of his bodyguards was killed and another was injured.
Responding to speculations, James Mawich Bichok, one of many spokesmen of Gen. Taban, denies the allegations saying that “nothing as such hadn’t happened at all”.
“There has been nonsense allegations being circulated in social media that one of bodyguard of H. E. the First Vice President has been shot dead here in Juba, I can assure the public that nothing as such hadn’t happened at all, so those are anti peace implementation and want to create confusion in the media.” Mawich states on his Facebook account.
Although no government officials has confirmed the allegations, Taban was a primary target on the government hit list according to reports shared by the former Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Lt. Gen. Bapiny Manytuil.
Gen. Bapiny shared these insiders’ reports after he defected from Salva Kiir government two months ago, however, whether Taban remains a target of elimination is not yet known.
Taban replaced Dr. Riek Machar through an appointment by President Salva Kiir despite resistance from SPLM/SPLA-IO mainstreams.
For the last 5 months, Taban has maximally cooperated with President Salva Kiir to implement the peace agreement base on government interests.
Despite lack of progress, Salva Kiir government has entrusted Taban with powers to welcome foreign dignitaries and to lead government delegations outside the country, however, the government does not control all forces within the capital city, Juba.