South Sudan: Gunfire continues in tense capital, Juba

Fresh gunfire has erupted overnight in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, a day after the government said it had quashed an attempted coup. There are reports of heavy weapons being fired near a military headquarters just

Fresh gunfire has erupted overnight in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, a day after the government said it had quashed an attempted coup.

There are reports of heavy weapons being fired near a military headquarters just outside Juba.

Several thousand people have taken refuge at two United Nations compounds.

On Monday, President Salva Kiir blamed soldiers loyal to his dismissed former deputy Riek Machar for the violence, but said the government was in control.

He said the violence first broke out on Sunday night after unidentified uniformed personnel opened fire at a meeting of the ruling party, former rebel force the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

A night time curfew is now in place and at least four former ministers have reportedly been arrested after the alleged coup. Mr Machar’s whereabouts are unclear.

President Kiir sacked Mr Machar, along with his whole cabinet, in July. The sackings are believed to have followed a power struggle.

Mr Machar, who has said he plans to contest the presidential elections in 2015, now leads a dissident faction within the SPLM.

Rebel ‘remnants’

On Tuesday, South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said there was renewed fighting in Juba as the military “cleared out remnants” of Mr Machar’s alleged supporters.

Toby Lanzer, the UN’s deputy special representative in South Sudan, said in a tweet on Tuesday that up to 13,000 people had sought shelter at two UN bases.

The US special envoy to the country, Donald Booth, told the BBC the airport was closed and telephone connections had been severely curtailed.

At least 12 people are reported to have been killed. The government said some 120 people had been taken to a hospital for treatment.

South Sudan – the world’s youngest country and one of the least developed – has struggled to achieve a stable government since becoming independent from Sudan in 2011.

The independence referendum was intended to end a decades-long conflict, led by the SPLM, against the north.

But the oil-rich country remains ethnically and politically divided, with many armed groups active.

BBC

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17 COMMENTS
  • Keren December 17, 2013

    It is likely that Issias Afewerki is fully involved in this coup deta. He has been communicating with Sudanese security forces of Omar al Beshir in Khartoum on South Sudan.
    The Eritreans in Juba need to take precautions to avoid any contact with the Hgdef regime associates or leave with your money soon. South Sudan and the Americans have got credible evidence of Eritrea’s involvement.
    Note: South Sudan may take action against Eritrean businesses in South Sudan. You are warned.

    • daniel December 17, 2013

      wow. why do you want use anything against the Eritrean government. an African-america friend of mine died in car accident in California few months back, do you thing the Eritrean government got something to do with his death?

      • Alem December 18, 2013

        Daniel,

        Is there a govt in Eritrea? A gov’t with no constitution and law…country that does not acknowledge the death of 365 of its citizens…country that jails, tortures, rapes and kill its own people….country where the school and colleges are governed by Generals who can’t write and read, etc. etc…. A failed state and a living hell….that is almost dead!

        My advice to you Daniel is to go to school at least to community college in Oakland, San Jose, LA, SF or SD area!

        Don’t advocate for dead thing…there is no gov’t in Eritrea..it is just self appointed shifta (like his Grand Fathers Yohanness IV, zebhere Tembien)!

    • Teckle December 18, 2013

      R U Eritrean or Tgraway, u know who u are….

    • Yonas December 18, 2013

      Do you have any evidence to substantiate your claim? It’s one thing to make an allegation, it’s another to be true.

      • i and i December 18, 2013

        there is evidence he is involved in tiamil tiger ‘sri lanka’ so he can be involved any where.

  • Kone Selam December 17, 2013

    The Eritrean dictator has been secretly involved in South Sudan’s crises (coup) His plan is to use south Sudan as military departure to support rebels in Ethiopia . It was planned by Eritrean government 18 months ago .

  • ahmed saleh December 17, 2013

    Where did you find the source of this information ?
    I prefer to oppose the government based in facts and principle . Accusations
    without prove only put us on defensive position . To exercise responsibility
    could bring respectful support . But contrary to that it will wear thin when
    we mislead people the same way like what Issayas practiced.

    • Teckle December 18, 2013

      I am with you, let’s oppose DIA for his shortfalls, injustice, economic principles, constitution, and many more but not just for the sake of opposition. He has got nothing to do with this, also as wedi Vacaro wrongly said, we did not start the war with AGAMES….

      Let’s just stick to facts….

      • i and i December 18, 2013

        he was in DRC CONGO,in ethiopia, in yamen, in sudan, IN SOMALIA, IN LIBYA, IN SRI LANKA, in iran and there is big possibility he is massing round in south sudan,

  • Kalighe December 18, 2013

    “The Eritreans in Juba need to take precautions to avoid any contact with the Hgdef regime associates or leave with your money soon. South Sudan and the Americans have got credible evidence of Eritrea’s involvement.”

    Keren

    We know Iseyas is a trouble maker, but the events in South Sudan have nothing to do with Eritrean government involvement. Clan animosity and failure of the ruling elites is the main cause of the conflict. People from Nouer tribe think the Dinkas are not giving them chance to get their share of power and resources. This is a typical African problem that has been bleeding many countries in post-colonial era. Unless it’s stopped at this early stage, the conflict will be bloody and may continue for long time. Politician should come to their senses, and start dialogue before it gets late and uglier. In this conflict all are losers. The government of dictator Omar Bashir will get chance to side with one side against the other, of course for its own interest.

  • aus 17 December 18, 2013

    Speculations are on ride, as aften the Eritrean president is there where there is a commotion/confusion along the zone.
    During the last week end he was so active roaming along the Sudan and Kenya, for what?
    It seems he was aware about the movements underway.
    Reports suspect him highly in such action where he thrives best.
    Warning for Eriteans there quit the country as soon as possible. Or the other alternative is liquidate the so-called leader sooner than is later.
    Don’t you have any man left in Eritrea, heroic enough to carry a coup d’etat!!! Or just assassination of the barbaric leader

    • Yonas December 18, 2013

      No offense but Ethiopians need not butt into internal Eritrean affairs.

      • Kalighe December 19, 2013

        “No offense but Ethiopians need not butt into internal Eritrean affairs.”

        Yonas

        Ethiopia may not have the same problems as Eritrea, but it has enough problems that should keep all those who want meddle in Eritrean affairs busy in Ethio Forums. I don’t wish them bad, but I can see that their country is also sitting on a time bomb, although it’s not going to explode in near future.

  • Yerhiwo December 18, 2013

    Excellent article and thank you for your balanced analysis!

    This bold, ugly and squeaky voice guy is hired to smear Enda Menhanie Alem Church, nothing more! Personally, I feel sorry for Ras Gidewon Abay who is hired by the HGDEF Embassy to spread rumors and distort facts. You see this is easy job for a liar math teacher, because most of the audience are Taxi drivers and house wives who can’t understand addition or subtraction. I hope Medhanie Alem infest you with cancerous disease or show you another disaster in front of your eyes as it happened to you before (father-in-law, drowned in front of your eye).
    Please don’t distort the facts! Eritrea is a living hell, you know it….you just making a living to supplement your meager wage (math lecture probably make 60-80K per year).

    As the writer indicted, do you have anyone in your family sacrificed for Eritrean freedom?

    Please open your eyes you and your like Aradom (Chegora face)and find another job!

  • Alem December 18, 2013

    Dictator Isaias Afwerki is a spoiler in Africa and Middle East such as Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somali, Kenya, Chad, Niger, Libya, Kongo, Yemen, etc. I have no doubt he organized and assisted this coup. Wedi Medhin Berad is blood hungry animal! The death of many innocent Eritreans is not enough for him. Many people are dying in Eritrea every day…..either in jails, in Sinai, and in the seas.

    God bless Eritrea and wipe out Dictator Isaias Afwerki as his idol Gedaffi with his cousins Yemane Monkey, Hagos Kisha and Sibhat Golfo!!

    Time is coming….it is not going to be far!!!

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