Fighting continues in South Sudan, hundreds killed

July 11, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

EPA photo



Dukhan Jundit

Since Friday, intense fighting among different military factions in South Sudan has killed approximately 270 people to date, the earlier Peace Agreement now effectively in tatters among fear and instability in the country.

The government’s Minster of Information Michael Makuei Lueth stated that they are “in full control of (capital) Juba right now,” but independent reports suggest otherwise.

There are also reports of mass defections from the South Sudanese governement, a number of Generals, mainly Nuer and Equatoria said to have joined Riek Machar‘s armed rebel group the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition, SPLM IO.

According to sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for security reasons, said Equatorian and Nuer have defected following earlier attacks in their areas.

Governors from South Sudan President Salva Kiir‘s side, from Bieh and Latjor States, were also attacked.

An eyewitness said that General Bol Koang and General Charles Lam Chuol were also attacked by Salva Kiir forces earlier. Bol Koang is believed to currently be in a United Nations peacekeeping mission, UNMISS, camp after he was attacked.

In another development it was reported that General Dau Aturjong has defected to President Salva Kiir’s side. The General had been a member of the SPLM IO for the last two years but was accussed of having conducted several meetings with the Jieng Council of elders, a traditional group from Dinka.

Meanwhile the SPLM IO has burned down five tanks and one machine gun used as an anti-tank weapon, fighting continuing in the Juba international airport and near Jebel, the base for the SPLM IO.

The fighting began when soldiers from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, SPLA and SPLM-IO clashed on Thursday evening at the Gudele checkpoint, the road to the SPLM-IO residential area.

UNMISS, the UN peacekeeping mission, stated that hundreds of people had been forced to flee and seek protection in their properties, various compounds having already suffered damages.

Secrertary General Ban Ki-moon said “This senseless violence is unacceptable and has the potential of reversing the progress made so far in the peace process,” and that President Kiir and Vice President Machar msut order their troops to stand down immediately.








Dukhan Jundit

Dukhan is a freelance journalist in South Sudan having contributed to numerous publications and worked as News Editor for InterNews Radio in the Upper Nile State previously.



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