• No_Ads
today's Pick
Heavy gunfire overnight in South Sudan capital: witnessesPublish Date: Dec 16, 2013
Heavy gunfire overnight in South Sudan capital: witnesses
  • mail
  • img
A soldier guarding a section of the capital
newvision

NAIROBI, - Heavy gunfire erupted overnight in South Sudan's capital Juba, diplomats said, amid mounting political tensions in the newly-independent nation.

Diplomats and security sources said the fighting appeared to have broken out in a barracks close to the city centre shortly before midnight and involved the use of heavy machine guns and mortars.

Political tensions have been high in South Sudan in recent weeks, and earlier this month key leaders of the ruling party -- the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) -- made a public challenge to President Salva Kiir and accused him of "dictatorial" behaviour.

South Sudan's Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth refused to comment on the unrest, but signalled the president was still in charge.

"The president is going to speak soon. I can't say anything until he speaks," he said.

A diplomat in the city described the situation as "quite confused", but added that relative calm returned to the city at 9:00 am (0600 GMT) with troops posted at major intersections.

Statements from the US and British embassies in Juba urged their nationals to avoid unnecessary movements.

The US embassy said there were "reports from multiple reliable sources of ongoing security incidents and sporadic gunfire in multiple locations across Juba".

A security source said the fighting broke out shortly before midnight Sunday, apparently between rival factions in South Sudan's armed forces.

South Sudan won its independence in 2011 after its people voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to split from the north and form a new nation.

Since independence, Kiir has struggled to stem rampant corruption and quell rebellion and conflict in the grossly impoverished but oil-rich nation, left devastated by decades of war.

The dissident SPLM group is led by powerful politician Riek Machar, a charismatic but controversial leader who fought on both sides of Sudan's brutal 1983-2005 civil war, and who was sacked as vice-president in July.

It also includes Rebecca Garang, the widow of South Sudan's founding father John Garang. The challenge to Kiir earlier this month made public the bitter divisions within the former rebel movement turned political party.

If you are in Juba, South Sudan, please send updates and eyewitness accounts to website@newvision.co.ug  
 
AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Uganda
UGANDA'S U-12 table tennis team has been detained in Nairobi for failure to clear a $1800 (sh4.5m) hotel bill accumulated after failure to pay for a week’s accommodation...
Sudan resumes support to Kony, says Mbabazi
More than five years since the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) got routed out of northern Uganda, Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, has revealed that Sudan has resumed its support for the group led by Joseph Kony....
Why Kabaka Mutebi refused the monthly sh5m from govt
The reasons why Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II refused the monthly sh5million from government to cultural leaders have been revealed....
UNEB hikes registration fees
The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has increased its registration fees, according to the institution’s spokesman, Hamis Kaheru....
Uganda journalists to mark world press freedom day
The Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) has begun preparations to commemorate this year’s world press freedom day which will be marked with a series of activities....
Kampala RDCs defend Museveni on Besigye
Deputy Residential District Commissioners (RDCs) for Kampala have defended President Yoweri Museveni’s attack on former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Dr. Kizza Besigye and embattled Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago....
WIll the national ID registration process be completed in the scheduled 4 months timeframe?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter