February 17, 2012 (JUBA) - A devastating fire broke out on Friday at the headquarters of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Juba, a week after a similar incident at the official residence of the country’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit.
- The Beijing hotel in Juba on fire in 2009 (ST file photo)
No one was hurt in the blaze although SPLM officials say many files and documents were lost in the fire that erupted at the premises of the national secretariat at around 1pm.
The party’s northern secretariat, located in Thongpiny area, Munuki payam (district) is the official workplace of Pagan Amum, the SPLM secretary general and other senior party officials.
The cause of fire remains unknown although senior officials have speculated that it was down to an electric fault.
Bol Makueng, the SPLM’s secretary of information, culture and communication told reporters at the scene of incident that he did not believe the fire was started by arson.
“There was no sabotage behind the incident. It was just an incident which we shall conduct investigation to establish the fact”, Makueng said.
He said the fire erupted while technicians were working on the cooling system.
“There was a technical fault with air condition. So technicians were invited to come and work on it and they were working this incident occurred”, he said
The official said of the some damaged items included files, chairs, and computers before the fire brigade managed to control the scene.
Confidential documents are feared to have been lost as a result of the impromptu fire outbreak, party sources told Sudan Tribune, which razed down the entire structure.
Barnaba Benjamin Marial, the government spokesman on Friday said both that the ministry of housing and physical infrastructure as well as electricity and dams have been instructed to check all government institutions in the wake of the mysterious fire outbreaks on government buildings.
“The council of minister resolved that these ministries carry out investigations and this will include checking all the electrical connections on these government buildings,” Marial told journalists.
Cases of fire out breaks have, in the recent past, been a major occurrence in South Sudan. December last year, a fire at South Sudan’s Juba Being Hotel destroyed several properties and caused extensive damage.
In 2009, another fire at the same hotel destroyed nearly 60 rooms.
Sudan Tribune observed that nine offices include an office belonging to leader of the party President Salva Kiir Mayardit was consumed by the fire. Other offices include that of the Secretary General of the party, Pagan Amum and Secretary for Economic affairs, who was accused of corruption last week by a former minister of finance, an allegation Amum strongly denies.