News / Africa

Juba Tense as South Sudan Soldiers Clash

SPLA soldiers stand in a vehicle in Juba days after clashes erupted in December. Fresh fighting at the headquarters of SPLA ground forces triggered panic among Juba residents Wednesday.
SPLA soldiers stand in a vehicle in Juba days after clashes erupted in December. Fresh fighting at the headquarters of SPLA ground forces triggered panic among Juba residents Wednesday.
Charlton Doki
Tensions soared in Juba Wednesday as five soldiers were killed and several more injured in clashes  at the same military barracks where fighting in December triggered months of conflict around the young country.

Officials said fighting broke out Wednesday morning at the Giada barracks, the headquarters of the South Sudan army's ground forces.

Malak Ayuen Ajok, the army's information and public relations director, said the fighting was triggered by a misunderstanding between soldiers over pay.

"What happened was soldiers came to inquire when they are going to receive their salaries. They were told that... there is a system set up for every unit to receive their salaries, and  I think during the discussion there was a misunderstanding between the soldiers themselves and this led to a limited shooting among the soldiers,” Ayuen said.

He said five soldiers were killed and "two to three others were injured." Other reports said that scores of soldiers had been wounded in the fighting.

Other soldiers intervened and stopped the fighting, Ayuen said.


Residents flee as gunfire erupts


The clashes sent many residents in the area ifleeing and caused panic in parts of Juba, Ayuen and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth said. 

The U.S. embassy in Juba urged residents to "stay inside" as "heavy & continued gunfire" was reported near the university.


An hour later, the embassy reported in a tweet that calm had returned to parts of the South Sudanese capital while others remained tense.

The United Nations' Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, expressed concern about the fresh outbreak of fighting in the capital, which has been calm for weeks.
Hours after the fighting erupted, as black smoke continued to rise from the direction of the army barracks, Ayuen urged residents to "go back to your businesses, go back to your homes and go back to your normal duties."

"There is no problem. The thing was within the barracks and it has been contained there," he said.

Ayuen said an unspecified number of soldiers have been arrested in connection with the fighting, but others were still at large. Soldiers involved in the fighting could face a court martial, he said.

Government: Clashes unrelated to ongoing fighting


Makuei insisted that the shooting was not connected to the ongoing conflict between pro- and anti-government forces that was triggered by clashes on Dec.15 at the same barracks.

He said the fighting on Wednesday was "a normal thing that happens in any military area" and had "nothing to do with the rebellion and it nothing to do with the military coup.”

President Salva Kiir has said that the clashes at the barracks in December were part of an abortive coup attempt led by his former deputy, Riek Machar, who has denied the accusations.

The fighting in December spread rapidly from Juba to the rest of the country, and is still ongoing in Jonglei state and the oil-producing states of Unity and Upper Nile, in spite of a cessation of hostilities agreement that was signed six weeks ago.

Thousands are believed to have been killed in the clashes in South Sudan, and around 900,000 fled their homes, seeking safety in neighboring countries, on United Nations bases in South Sudan, or in the bush.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: xris from: juba
March 06, 2014 8:19 AM
Surely we need peace this country is fo us all

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid