Breaking: Fighting In South Sudan Capital
July 6, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Latest reports from Gudule, a suburb within South Sudan capital, confirmed a major clash between two armed forces this evening at Gudele Check point.
According to eye witnesses, 4 soldiers on Salva Kiir’s SPLA side are confirmed dead and one SPLA-IO soldier was reportedly wounded.
Speaking to media, James Gatdet Dak, the Spokesman of South Sudan’s First Vice President confirmed the report saying that 10 of their soldiers were attacked by soldiers loyal to president Salva Kiir.
“Yes, there was fighting at 8:00pm between 10 soldiers of our protection unit and forces loyal to President Salva Kiir. They attacked our vehicle carrying the soldiers. A number of people were killed on their side and one wounded on our side,” said James Gatdet Dak.
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Gatdet believes their soldiers were attacked while delivering food to their colleagues who sleep at Machar’s residence, however, he reiterates that the ten men fought for more than 10 minutes leaving a number of soldiers dead on Kiir side and two wounded on their side.
“They were taking food to our soldiers who always sleep in the office of the First Vice President to guide it. A number of soldiers have been killed on the other side (SPLA). Two of our soldiers have sustained wounds. The clash which lasted for more than 10 minutes has however stopped and our soldiers have returned to their base at Jebel Kujur” Gatdet reiterates.
Although fighting has stopped, Gatdet regrets that the situation remains tense and fighting could resume any time.
“It was a clear attempt to provoke a violent situation, they want to resume the attack on our forces” Gatdet said
According to SPLA-IG spokesman, Brig. Lul Ruai koang, Machar’s SPLA-IO should be blamed for attacking their soldiers.
“SPLA IO Responsible for Juba Clashes” Lul stated on his Facebook account.
To Gordon Buay Malek, who speaks for President Salva Kiir, fighting began when the SPLA-IO forces refused to be checked by the SPLA-IG soldiers at a check point in Gudele.
“The clash happened when the SPLA-IO forces refused to be stopped at the checkpoint for security inspection.” Buay said.
“When the SPLA [IG] soldiers stopped the SPLA-IO cars to confirm that they were not unauthorized vehicles, they opened fire and killed four soldiers of the SPLA” he continued.
Buay believes that the First Vice President has intervened and ordered an arrest for SPLA-IO soldiers who were involved in the fighting.
“I want to inform the public that there is NO fighting in Juba. The clash is contained and the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar has ordered an investigation. All the SPLA-IO who attacked the SPLA soldiers at the checkpoint have been detained as per the orders of Dr. Riek Machar.” Buay said.
The Cause of Fighting
Although the exact causes are yet to be determined, the two sides have intensively deployed and monitored one another since July 2nd following controversial killing of 2 SPLA-IO officers.
As the situation continued to deteriorate, Kiir’s side began to deploy troops near Machar’s residence.
According to Brig. Gen. Lul, the chief of army also ordered the SPLA Airforce to conduct frequent air show to monitor the security situation in the capital – a decision that was negatively perceived as an act of intimidation by Machar’ side.
“The Office of Chief of General Staff would like to urgently inform member of the Public that Two L-39s Jet Fighters from SPLA Air Force will conduct air shows to commemorate 5th Anniversary of our Independence.” Lul said
“The exercise starts at 12:30PM today Thursday, July 07, 2016 through to actual independent day, 9th July 2016. In the light of above, members of the public are asked not to panic.” he continued.
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