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Juba erupts into massive celebratory shootings of live bullets in defiance of police ban

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December 31, 2012 (JUBA) – Residents of the South Sudan’s capital, Juba, entered the first minutes of the New Year 2013 with panic and uncertainty when massive shootings of live bullets suddenly sprayed the skies, in defiance of a police announcement outlawing the practice and warning of legal consequences for law breakers.

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Unlike other capitals such as London, pictured, South Sudan’s capital Juba has no fireworks display to celebrate New Year’s Day, leaving the heavily armed population to fire live bullets in the air. (Photo: BBC)

Many people were reported injured on Tuesday as a result of the midnight shootings in the city.

The President of the Republic, Salva Kiir Mayardit, while attending the New Year’s Day church service at Kator Catholic Church on Tuesday condemned the unlawful shootings during the night.

The police on Monday announced outlawing the shooting of live bullets into the air to mark the New Year at midnight as such practices can cause injury and panic among the population.

The region, which got its independence about 18 months ago, has no colourful fireworks to light during its major celebrations and in many instances the armed members of the population instead resort to firing live bullets into the air to express their happiness.

The deputy Inspector General of Police, Lt. Gen. Gordon Micah Makur, however announced in the evening of the eve of the New Year that anybody firing bullets to mark the celebrations will face the law, urging citizens to calmly mark the 2013 New Year.

Despite the announcement, Juba residents were woken up at 12am midnight when the massive shootings abruptly started in the center of the city and quickly spread like wildfire throughout the whole city and its suburbs for about half an hour.

Hundreds of thousands rounds of live bullets lighted the skies when they were sprayed into the air by the heavily armed population of the capital, causing some to panic and go for cover while others who seemingly knew what was happening were singing and ululating.

One resident who lives in the center of the city told Sudan Tribune that it looked as if every household in the capital has a gun because he could hear shootings from every neighbourhood and in all directions.

In a city where rule of law has not yet taken root, it is not clear how the police will investigate and bring to justice those responsible for the chaotic situation, which was a clear violation of what had been banned only hours earlier.

Random shootings continued until 6am in the morning and it is not yet clear whether there were casualties or not as a result of the chaotic scenes midnight, which would have provided cover for armed criminals.

Meanwhile thousands of police personnel have been deployed in the streets throughout Juba city to patrol at night and prevent crimes from happening even though they could not stop the overwhelming massive shootings.

Juba city is divided into five zones with each zone under the command of a senior police officer, who closely directs the patrolling forces and monitors the situation on the ground.

Authorities have reported a significant drop in the number of crimes since the ‘Operations Restore Confidence’ was launched in Juba by the police two weeks ago.

(ST)

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  • 2 January 2013 07:34, by Jalaby

    They were so drunk "SAKARA", Alcohol should be prohibited in Juba the same way it happened in some Jonglei counties!

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    • 2 January 2013 07:47, by Chol A.

      Jalaby, it for sure Janabin can openly drink SAKARA why not? we don’t pretend as you do by putting SAKARA in Jalabie and than drunk it illegally at night and wipped your mouth on ground like chicken and said you don’t while you did!

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      • 2 January 2013 08:45, by EES Kingmaker

        Chol A.
        Please don’t just negate Jalaby’s statement because of his usual deep hatred towards South Sudanese. What happened in Juba on the New Year eve was either the work of SAKARA or uncalled-for excitment. Regulation of acohol consumption and strict control of gun shootings in future is indispensible for our collective security, nationals or foreigners alike.

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    • 2 January 2013 07:49, by Ayom Ayom

      This is normal, and to send the message to the rebels and other enemies to South Sudan that, Juba is well equipped and whoever need to overthrow the regime should change his/her mine now

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      • 2 January 2013 09:10, by EES Kingmaker

        Ayom Ayom
        I wonder that Juba night shootings was the right way to channel the message to frighten, intimidate enemies of South Sudan and those craving for regime change. Why did they do it anyway if our citizens could be thrown in panic or get in the harm way? The people doing that are only rascals and enemies of peace, calm and tranqility. There is no message or cue an enemy can pick from there.

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      • 2 January 2013 20:29, by Nyanchol Ajak

        I agree 100%.

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    • 2 January 2013 09:27, by Tong dut

      The shooting of live bullets in juba here, means some thing bad is coming.JONGLEI ,RUMBEK and WAU.
      Eruption of new war southern to kill southern.

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    • 2 January 2013 16:39, by Baring

      First, Fire the inspecter General of police and his deputy off becuase they are not doing good job. How come the citizen dont oby his or thier word. Secound, who is responsible for every zone must be bring to investigation, where are they when the shooting started, how maney persons did they arrested? in that means no body listen to Govt. anymore.

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    • 3 January 2013 09:49, by Ayuen deng

      They were not drunk its because there is no court of conduct and rule of law in our arm force all over south Sudan. otherwise there is nothing importance in shooting in the air,this bullets would have help in the defense of innocent life in jonglei state.

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  • 2 January 2013 07:37, by jay b

    What a mess, our govt stand for nothing

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    • 2 January 2013 08:07, by allan

      To damnass jalaby i know u just mad coz u got no freedom in north to do shit , but we in south sudan we fought for our freedom to enjoy it so shut ur stupid ass or go eat dick u stupid arab

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  • 2 January 2013 07:55, by Mike Mike

    No proper follow up from the implementers that is why you see things do go wrongly like that from our govt.That is a work of the police and other govt inteligent sources to control the situation for people to stay without fear among themselves.It is a very big shame and great challenge on our govt for the capital city to be well armed to that extend.

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  • 2 January 2013 07:58, by Bazinguaboy

    This despite the ban on gunfire. But how many people heard that radio announcement banning gunfire?
    I hope our government will next time consider airing such announcements in ample time and also make use of the services of Sultan Jambo who tirelessly kept us informed before we had all those radio stations airing in Juba.

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    • 2 January 2013 08:00, by Bazinguaboy

      ... and we did see the police doing a fine job in every street in Juba ahead of the New Year - if only we hear of some arrests in relation to the New Year’s shooting ...!

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  • 2 January 2013 08:10, by dinkdong

    Stupid Junubin. How would you do firework with live bullets?

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    • 2 January 2013 08:57, by EES Kingmaker

      Dinkdong,
      Stop your stereotyping. In the eyes of South Sudanese, you are noting but an imbecile. Hatred won’t help Al-Shamaleen to recover South Sudan. Remmeber, the land left to you is ours. We have not stopped re-claiming it as is now being held by desert gorillas.

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  • 2 January 2013 08:32, by Kenyang

    As long no guns were pointed on others and no harm, i don’t see any problem in this. This kind of celebration had been normal in South Sudan. Since there’s no firework, no changes are introduced by failing SPLM, people must be allowed to celebrate in old way.

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    • 2 January 2013 08:53, by Thel Mangardit

      These are soldiers who did not met with enemy one time, So I don’t blame them let them shoot but planning to the border is waiting.
      thanks you.

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  • 2 January 2013 11:07, by Pif Paf

    What a lawless state !!

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  • 2 January 2013 12:57, by Northern Sudanese

    a lawless state home to millions of barbarians...

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  • 2 January 2013 13:01, by Takinom

    There is no Capital City in this world fire live bullets into the air in expression of any kind of celebrations, even Mogadishu doesn’t. It is shame for S. Sudan government to panic its own citizens

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  • 2 January 2013 18:07, by master

    FIFTH world

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  • 3 January 2013 02:54, by akoonapg

    Lol you people saying South Sudanese are barbaric but even in America they shoot guns on New Years and 4 of July, nothing new but just happy celebration, al though it can also be dangerious.

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