July 15, 2016 (JUBA) - Soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the official army of South Sudan, have invaded the World Food Programme’s (WFP) main warehouse in the country’s capital, Juba, and looted all food items found in it.
The circumstances under which the soldiers invaded the warehouse remained unclear. The official spokesperson of the army did not make any comment on the situation.
Some military sources claimed they carried out the action because they were told the warehouse was used for storing different military supplies, including food items for armed opposition loyal to First Vice President, Riek Machar.
"The information was received from the command was that the warehouse was used as the main store for military supplies belonging to the SPLA-IO [Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition]. We were told it was not a warehouse for relief items. The command said they were military supplies which we should capture and destroy them," said a military officer on Friday who was part of the operation.
WFP confirmed in a report on its website that warehouse has been ransacked but did not say the identity of the group. The area in which the warehouse is located however falls under exclusive control of the government forces after armed opposition forces changed their headquarters following days of intensive fighting in which several lives and properties have been lost.
Government soldiers were seen carrying stolen food items on their heads and shoulders while others used private and military vehicles to ferry away the looted items, some of which were seen being sold in Gudele 2 market, located west of the town.
The warehouse, according to the report of the WFP, was holding one month of life saving food items for 220,000 people before the fighting erupted.