South Sudan President Declared Ceasefire As Fighting Spirals Within The City Center
July 11, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– At the mid of intense fighting, looting and destruction – mostly by a retreating government troop – South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a ceasefire declaration ordering all troops to return to their cantonments, a message that was promptly echoed by the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
The long-awaited call for ceasefire came at sunset on July 11 after another full day of intense fighting between the well-armed SPLA-Kiir forces against an outnumbered SPLA-IO forces fighting backs with AK7s and limited ammunitions.
According to insiders, the war was designed to last 3 to 4 hours with huge casualties, defeat and possibly surrendering or elimination of the top SPLM/A-IO leadership, however, four days later fighting was still within the heart of the city.
Within the last two days, the two forces fiercely fought from morning to evening with SPLA-Kiir trying with massive force to capture or destroy the only cantonment site for SPLA-IO at Jebel Kujur.
Contrary, the SPLA-IO maintained control of Jebel Kujur but reported other victories that include capturing of tanks and decoys, and gaining more territories and exit routes, initially occupied by Kiir’s loyal troops.
Following excessive looting and destruction of the main market as the government soldiers retreat to the city center, President Salva Kiir ordered that all troops must return to their bases and any soldiers found on the street would be arrested or shot at if he resists.
According to Jok Madut Jok of Juba University, sporadic fighting could be heard in Gudele, Jebel Kujur, 107 and Thongping areas after the order between 6 and 7pm, local time.
“The situation in Juba remains tense. Sporadic shooting continues in different parts of town, especially Jebel Kujur, Gudele, 107, and edges of Thongpiny.” Jok Madut states.
In response to President Kiir’s declaration, the First Vice President issued a ceasefire declaration and ordered his troops to report back to their bases.
“SPLM/SPLA (IO) has agreed to Cessation of Hostilities in Juba. His Excellency, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO), has therefore declared ceasefire in Juba with effect from 8:00pm local time today, Monday, July 11, 2016.” Gatdet Dak said.
Despite these new orders from the two leaders, sporadic fighting continued in various parts of the city until it dark.
This was not be the first the two leaders called for ceasefire and discipline, however, fighting has been resuming the following day.
Kiir Does Not Control His Troops
According to Dr. Riek Machar’s interview on BBC, the two leaders have been in direct communition throughout the war to determine how to end it but President Salva Kiir had no knowledge of who was ordering his troops.
Machar believes that there are other elements on Salva Kiir’s side who order and direct the troops.
He believes the anti-peace elements wanted to kill him and perhaps also harm the president.
“This has been more or less a calculated plan by people who do not want peace…I think this was a plot to liquidate me or even liquidate the president.” Machar said on BBC.