Jan 04, 2018(Nyamilepedia) —– South Sudan’s war-raged capital, Juba, yet again witnessed another heavy gunshots in multiple locations across the city on the first Thursday night of the new year, January 4th, 2018.
The fighting, which is believe to have been instigated by defection of soldiers loyal to estranged former Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Paul Malong Awan, started with a few random gunshots near the U.N. Compound in the early evening but later intensified between 11:20pm and midnight.
The “heavy machine gunshots” were reported, mostly, by residents of Jebel Dinka, Gurei, Gudella, Lemon Gaba and Rock City.
This came despite warnings of “no celebratory gunshots” during Christmas and New Year season.
“SORRI fellow s.Sudanese who re in juba now am hearing gun shoot again and there is fighting again in Luria [Luri] had started again in juba now at 11:23 pm the gun shot started when am hearing in till now may God see n bless” Said TTD, full names withheld on safety grounds.
“The fighting is in luria and jubele dinka road” TTD continued.
“THERE IS TOO MUCH AND HEAVY GUN SHOTS HAPPENING NOW IN JUBA. I hope it’s not the beginning of something nasty.” Said DPA, another social media reporter.
“Fighting in juba now since 11:30 pm upto now at gurei arround gudella. That is continuation of afternoon fighting at checkpoint, stay tune more are coming this night.” BLG, full names withheld due to fear of repercussion.
“Heavy gunfire erupted near a U.N. refugee camp in Juba at around 5 to 6pm, and this continued until midnight; it was a Fire Exchange in the areas of Gurey, Jebel Dinka, Lemon-Gaba and Rock-City with quiet little details because majority of people who are in place are in hiding fearing unknown gunmen. They are firing some heavy machine guns” Reads part of a report extended to Nyamilepedia
Although it is yet to be verified, similar gunshots were reported at President Kiir’s private militia headquarters at Luri, near the capital.
Within the last four years, South Sudan capital has experienced two major fighting that went on for days in December 2013 and July 2016, and more than 10 occasional fighting fitting defecting soldiers against President Kiir’s loyal troops and militias.
For the past eight  months, Kiir’s loyal forces have targeted a predominately Dinka group loyal to former Chief of Staff and war icon, Gen. Paul Malong Awan.
Within the last two weeks, Malong’s associates have gone into hiding in Malong’s home region of Norther Bhar el Ghazal while others are defecting to various rebel groups as they claim to be targeted by Kiir’s loyalists.
Malong is considered to be among the architects of the ongoing civil war and named for gross human rights violations in the capital- Juba and parts of Upper Nile, and for that he finds very little favor among other rebel groups and their supporters.
After falling out with president Kiir in May 2017 and barred from traveling to his home town, Malong finds it impossible to stand his ground.
After serving seven months of house arrest in the capital, Juba, the former Chief was sent to exile while some of his bodyguards and other loyalists remain behind bars in Juba.
Malong is also sanctioned by the United States and Canada, and whether he would be allowed by the government of Kenya to live for long remains to be seen!
Attempts to reach the SPLA spokesman, Lul Ruai Kong, to comment on the fighting were not returned.
Brig. Lul, however, congratulated the army and security forces two days ago for maintaining peace during New Year eve despite fighting in his home region of Lou-Nuer and other parts of the country.
“The Office of the SPLA Spokesperson takes this opportunity to inform peace loving people of the Republic of South Sudan at home and broad that we in Juba celebrated the most peaceful New Year ever. Citizens poured on the streets of Juba, dancing, singing, ulalating and held prayers.” Lul Said.
Fighting in South Sudan began in December 2013 and escalated to all parts of the country in violation of numerous Cessation of Hostilities and peace agreements.
While over 300 thousands are estimated to have been killed, over 4 millions others are displaced from their homes into UN protected camps within the country and Refugees’ camps in the neighboring countries.