President Salva Kiir Mayardit
addressing journalists in Juba,
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit called the fighting a failed coup attempt” by troops allied to Vice President Riek Machar, his former deputy who was fired in July. He said that his government was now in full control of the situation.
Reflecting widespread panic, the United Nations said that more than 15,500 locals had sought refuge in their Juba compounds in Tong Ping and Jebel. The city is tense and Kiir has implemented a curfew that begins at 6:00 PM local time and continues for 12 hours.
I urge all parties in the fighting to cease hostilities immediately and exercise restraint.”
The UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General Hilde Johnson urged calm. I urge all parties in the fighting to cease hostilities immediately and exercise restraint,” she said in a statement.
Details of the clashes remain murky, but it is thought that heavy machine guns and possibly mortars were used. Locals reported numerous killings. Officials said that 27 people were killed and over 100 injured.
According to the local online media outlet ‘Talk of Juba’ the Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia visited Juba Teaching Hospital this afternoon and found 133 people injured and 12 killed – most of them soldiers.
Elia further stressed that this is a political crisis and not a tribal conflict. He said the army is not divided along tribal lines. He urged those who sought refuge on the UNMISS compound to return home once the curfew ends in the morning.
Fighting broke out on Sunday, December 15, after uniformed persons fired shots at Nyakuron conference centre, during the closing of the National Liberation Council, Kiir said in a press statement.
South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011, has witnessed rising political tension since Kiir’s political rival Machar was sacked as Kiir’s deputy five months ago.
Everyone is worried, but hopefully all will be fine.”
SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer said in an interview with Radio Miraya this morning that the government has yet to identify those behind the violence. The situation is under control,” he said, echoing comments by Kiir.
With dusk approaching many citizens fear renewed fighting. Everyone is worried, but hopefully all will be fine,” said William Monykuer from Juba.