News / Africa

    Death Toll Rises in South Sudan Army Barracks Clashes

    An SPLA soldier drives in a vehicle in Juba December 21, 2013. Troops were deployed around the city again in March after clashes at an army barracks claimed the lives of at least 24 soldiers.
    An SPLA soldier drives in a vehicle in Juba December 21, 2013. Troops were deployed around the city again in March after clashes at an army barracks claimed the lives of at least 24 soldiers.
    Philip Aleu
    South Sudanese army officials on Thursday raised the death toll from fighting at a military barracks in Juba from five to 24, as calm returned to the capital city after a tense night.

    "The number is no longer five," army spokesman Brigadier General Malaak Ayuen Ajook said after touring the Giada barracks near the University of Juba where clashes broke out Wednesday over a pay dispute.

    Fighting broke out at the same barracks in mid-December, triggering months of conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced around 900,000 people around the young country.

    Ayuen said the bodies of 24 soldiers have been recovered at Giada but added that it was "difficult to give exact figures" of fatalities in Wednesday's fighting "because now there are buildings which have collapsed on the soldiers, so we don’t know how many are under those stones.”

    The European Commmission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection agency (ECHO) reported that "shelling, mortars and shooting were reported in different parts of the city" during  the fighting.

    "Substantial shooting" was reported near one of the compounds in Juba of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), ECHO said.

    A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Martin Nesirsky, told reporters in New York that there were reports of "sporadic shooting" at several places around Juba on Wednesday, including near the UNMISS Tomping base and a World Food Programme warehouse.

    But Ayuen played down the overnight tensions, blaming the sporadic gunfire on undisciplined soldiers who were trying to cause panic.

    "We have enemies among ourselves who are trying to provoke a situation," he said.

    "It was isolated, that shooting last night, because they were firing in the air," Ayuen said.


    More civilians seek refuge at UN bases


    UNMISS spokeswoman Ariane Quentier said the fresh round of fighting in Juba, which had been relatively calm for around two months even as fighting raged in other parts of the country, drove dozens more civilians to seek refuge at both Tomping base and UN House in the capital.

    “I think there are about 60 of them who came to seek protection in the protection site in Tomping and... UN House," she said

    The U.N. is providing shelter for some 43,000 people at its two bases in Juba, and 77,000 around South Sudan, officials said.
    Internally displaced people carry water from outside as they walk toward the entrance of a United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan base in Malakal, Feb. 6, 2014.Internally displaced people carry water from outside as they walk toward the entrance of a United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan base in Malakal, Feb. 6, 2014.
    x
    Internally displaced people carry water from outside as they walk toward the entrance of a United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan base in Malakal, Feb. 6, 2014.
    Internally displaced people carry water from outside as they walk toward the entrance of a United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan base in Malakal, Feb. 6, 2014.

    Juba was calm Thursday, but U.N. officials said there were security checkpoints and army troops across the city, and several roads in and around the capital have been blocked by the authorities.

    Residents reported that traffic was back to normal and shops had reopened after closing early when the fighting broke out.

    An unspecified number of soldiers were wounded in Wednesday's fighting and were being treated at a military hospital, Ayuen said.

    Four people who were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of involvement in the deadly fighting at the barracks have been released and no one is currently being held in connection with the clashes, he said.

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.