December 17, 2013 (JUBA) – Three people have been killed in Bor, the capital of South Sudan’s Jonglei state, in circumstances authorities say is related to infighting among the country’s army (SPLA) which began late on Sunday evening.
- Map showing location of Jonglei state in South Sudan.
The mayor of Bor Municipality, Nhial Majak Nhial, said that two brothers had been killed in ’Block O’ on Monday night, adding that he had witnessed their bodies.
"Yes, people are killed, there were shot and are brothers from Twic East county”, he said.
A man from the Makuach district of Bor county was shot in a separate incident. Further shooting in the eastern area led to a man sustaining a gunshot wound to his leg and has been admitted to Bor hospital.
The dead are all members of the Dinka Bor ethnic group but Nhial declined to name who was behind the attack but said that "most areas in Bor were looted”.
Panic spread quickly in Bor on Monday following Sunday evening’s attack on South Sudan’s army barracks in Juba by soldiers President Salva Kiir alleges are "allied" to former vice-president Riek Machar.
Kiir accused his former deputy of leading an "attempted coup", describing the incidents as repeat of 1991 in reference to Riek Machar fell out with then rebel movement of SPLM/SPLA. The 1991 split led to attack on villages in Bor – home of then rebel leader the late John Garang, by members of Riek Machar’s Nuer tribe.
The United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) released a photo on Monday in Bor showing residents arriving at their camp to seek shelter. Thousands have also fled to the UN compounds in Juba to seek shelter.
Jonglei’s minister of law enforcement, Gabriel Duop Lam who is now in Juba, said he was informed about the incidents by police officials.
"I don’t know the suspect yet. Nobody was caught", he said.
People from residents near the shooting ran to UNMISS compound yesterday evening.
Philip Thon Nyok, a member of Jonglei state assembly representing Bor town, says the situation is under control.
"There are some people who wanted to provoke the situation by firing in the air but I am confident this is under control,” Nyok told Sudan Tribune by phone from Bor.
Bor municipality mayor, Nhial Majak, says police will “remain vigilant and more security forces are arriving from Mulual chaat [ the SPLA barracks south of Bor] to provide protection to people and properties."
A security meeting is under way in Bor to "consolidate" a response to the tension in Bor, a government source attending the meeting told Sudan Tribune.
Residents of blocks 4 and ‘O’ reported widespread looting in eastern residential areas with shops and houses broken into.
The shooting started on morning evening in Bor at Ci-Nuer-Ben, a number of blocks largely inhabited by the Nuer tribe in Bor town. Civilians from the Dinka and the other tribes fled the area for their safety.
Some youth from Jonglei’s Twic East county blamed the Nuer for the attack. Residents say people are dividing along tribal lines reflecting how the sporadic shooting in Juba is being interpreted.