Government sources are now acknowledging the death toll from the Juba clashes to be more than 500, but security personnel are still denying journalists access to hospitals and morgues.
A doctor of the military hospital in an interview with Radio Tamazuj admitted that some bodies were taken away by a truck when family didn’t come to identify the deceased.
He was not able to confirm an exact figure out of fear of the repercussions for speaking to the media. According to the physician, however, the bodies were transported in several shifts. He said he does not know where the army disposed of the bodies.
According to a separate witness account, three large trucks filled with bodies passed through part of Juba town in the aftermath of the clashes.
A witness on Wednesday morning said she saw three trucks with dead bodies passing from Mia Sabbah toward the army barracks.
She said they were army trucks, “the big ones, filled with dead bodies.” The dead appeared to be mostly soldiers but also some civilians.
It is not known whether the bodies have been buried in a mass grave.
Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny on Tuesday denied to Radio Tamazuj that casualties of the fighting would be dumped in a mass grave.
Juba residents say Nuer targeted
A resident of the Mia Sabah area tells how she witnessed nine bodies, all Nuer, which were dumped near the Catholic Seminary.
“They came knocking on doors – if you are Nuer, you are shot,” she says.
In the Gudele 1 neighborhood it was corroborated that there were house-to-house searches. A resident speaking to Radio Tamazuj said he saw many bodies and noticed soldiers going house to house during the fighting.
Charles living in Gudele Block 8 says that on Monday morning the “bullets were flying,” and he saw both uniformed and shirtless fighters.
“They were targeting Nuer in the residential areas who were defending themselves,” he says, adding that he advised his own neighbours also being Nuers to “scatter themselves.”
At a place called Lou Pharmacy also in Gudele he witnessed eight dead bodies lying on the ground, all Nuer men and youths, all civilians. Their bodies were left on the road.
In addition he says that two policemen were shot and their bodies were left for a while by the road before they were taken to the seminary.
Another witness from Buluk area in Juba said two Nuer men came out of their home and were killed. “Their dead bodes were left there for two days. The army finally came to collect them Tuesday,” she said.
Photo: An aerial view of Juba, South Sudan