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Calm returns to Juba after days of political unrest


December 18, 2013 (JUBA) - Residents in the South Sudanese capital, Juba started their normal activities on Wednesday, as limited movement could be seen, three days after the violent clashes.

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Locals and foreign nationals gather at Juba International Airport as they wait for flights out of the South Sudanese capital Juba December 18, 2013 (Reuters/Hakim George)

The incident, which started Sunday night, confined many to their houses as the army battle anti-government elements, in what authorities alleged was a failed coup attempt.

Military tanks and soldiers occasionally patrolled Juba streets on Monday, while sounds of gunfire continued in and around Juba for most of the day as government said it controlled the situation.

On Wednesday, however, it was business as usual as commercial banks gradually opened their doors to clients, while Juba Airport, which was temporarily closed, resumed its normal operations.

Also, international border posts, specifically those linking Kenya and Uganda to South Sudan, previously manned by uniformed personnel, officially opened for people travelling to various destinations.

Jebel market, located less than 2 kilometers west of old military headquarters, where the fight erupted before spreading to other units and areas, started witnessing buses at its busy station.

It remains unclear as to how many people died during the unrest, with unconfirmed reports saying up to 500 people died, as thousands sought refuge at the UN premises in the capital.


However, while government largely accused former vice president, Riek Machar of being behind the skirmishes, the latter insisted it was an inside job meant to crack down on those opposed to the regime.

The country’s foreign minister said Machar should have waited for the next general elections, if he wanted to be the head of state.

“He is using wrong way if he wants to become the president. There are no elections taking place now. If he wants to become the president, he needs to wait for elections to be conducted in 2015”, Barnaba Marial Benjamin told reporters on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the fight, which initially started in Juba, spread to units and divisions outside, including SPLA’s 2nd and 8th divisions covering Jonglei, Eastern and Central Equatoria states.

There are fears the situation could escalate in to a full blown war, unless the military intervenes to suppress the worrying situation.


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  • 19 December 2013 06:41, by omoni jr.

    @ Calm returns to Juba.
    Are you dreaming dogs,It is No longer more about Reik machar,this scenarios affect more non Dinka who were slaughtered yesterday by Kiir gangster in the name of presidentials fucking guards. Torit is under heavy bombardment.and David yau yau already heading to kapoeta to secured and block kenya-road.Loki-Nadapal road.

    repondre message

    • 19 December 2013 06:56, by Pure Nationalist

      It is calm & safe for other South Sudanese, but Nuer are still being hunted by presidential guards & his tribes men who shoot any Nuer speaking person found in the city, that is why the number is increasing in UN compounds

      repondre message

      • 19 December 2013 07:02, by Rami Tot

        those whom kiir trained call tiweng or Galweng militias are the one responsible for those death b/c 1st of all they don,t know communicating english or Arabic languages they just ask you in Dinka ayin Nga? you feel u don,t know you kill.

        repondre message

    • 19 December 2013 13:56, by Dinka Nhialic

      we are the power and the power is power, do u want us to leave the power to
      food lovers/defectors/nyigatees/traitors?
      Pliz, we shall captured that Yau Yau soon we are now preparing our artillery to let David Yaw Yaw and Gatdet rest in peace, never mind they cannot block the roads. Thanks

      repondre message

  • 19 December 2013 16:43, by chol

    Everyone in the country had enough of traitor Machar and gangs.This is not 1991.He is dead walking man.this time he will ran to Khartoum again.the SPLA should cut his stupid head off and bring to Juba for the world to see the guy is criminal just like Al Bashir,we don’t want another Bashir here in South Sudan.
    Chol Y

    repondre message

    • 20 December 2013 07:59, by Ross

      Dear, hayena
      It is true that selfish kirr has planned what he and his group thought to be their benefit, but i regret that negotiaion will be accepted as Hayena requested. believe or not power will be back to greator Upper Nile State. Long live DR. John Garang.

      repondre message

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