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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid