Home | News    Monday 1 August 2016

Heavy fighting reported around Juba, as SPLA-IO claims closing in


A military tank patrols along one of the main roads in the South Sudanese capital Juba December 16, 2013 (Reuters Photo)

July 31, 2016 (JUBA) – Heavy fighting has continued in the bushes around the South Sudanese national capital, Juba, with opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA-IO) claiming to be closing in on the capital with the aim to take it over.

The fighting is reported to have been taking place inside deep forests in different locations on Juba-Yei road, Juba-Mundri road and in the northwest of the capital between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and opposition forces loyal to the relieved First Vice President, Riek Machar.

“Heavy fighting has been going on for the past three days. President Salva Kiir’s forces have been on offensive against our forces. They are hunting for the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, with the aim to eliminate him. However, our forces have been fighting back in self-defence,” said James Gatdet Dak, Machar’s spokesperson.

He said their forces have been repulsing the attacks and have inflicted heavy losses on the forces loyal to President Kiir with “several hundreds of them killed in the forests” and a number of areas captured in Lanya county and Katigiri.

He also claimed that the opposition forces have captured up to 21 military trucks and logistics, including bull dozers, urols [big trucks] and small pickup trucks, in addition to different types of rifles.

Dak added that the opposition forces have besieged Juba from different directions and will be forced to move on to the capital to take control of it and restore law and order.

“My leadership has been calling for prompt deployment of a third party force to separate the two forces so that the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, can return to Juba and continue with the implementation of the peace agreement without threats of return to violence in the capital. But if this does not happen and President Kiir’s forces continue to attack our forces with the aim to eliminate Dr. Machar, our forces will be forced to capture Juba,” he said.

He further said that their forces have closed both the Juba-Yei road and Juba-Mundri roads and are closing in on Juba.

Dak said taking control of Juba by the opposition forces would put to an end the ongoing attacks on their forces and restore peace and security in the capital and beyond.

Sudan Tribune could not independently verify the level of casualties involved in the ongoing fighting in the thick forests as it is difficult to know what is happening and no official statement has been made by the government.

A military official loyal to President Kiir told Sudan Tribune that he believed there have been “heavy losses” on both sides, more than the losses incurred at J1 and Jebel Kujur’s two days of fighting.

South Sudan’s government on Friday in a cabinet meeting chaired by President Kiir resolved not to allow a third party force to deploy in Juba, saying the current 12,000 peacekeepers of the United Nations are enough and only their mandate can be negotiated and reviewed.

However, on Sunday, there were unconfirmed reports that the government’s security officials held a security meeting with the aim to review the Friday’s decision in the wake of the threats by the opposition forces to take over Juba.

Meanwhile, civilians have continued to flee from the capital in fear of imminent fighting in Juba, with dozens of government troops fleeing into the United Nations camps in the outskirt of the capital.


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  • 31 July 22:30, by Khent

    This is just a ploy by Riek to have a third force deployed in Juba. If the rebels were really this formidable they would be in control of Malakal, Bentiu, Nasir, Leer, Uror, Ayod, Bor and other areas in Greater Upper Nile. This will just prove to be another piece of propaganda.

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    • 1 August 00:30, by jubaone


      History has it that in no single moment have jienges had a total victory over the Nuer who have been victors all along. Now the jienges desperately need one to at least get over this humiliation and inferiority complex. Well, it appears more luak jienges will be needed as canon fodder to finally achieve that. Good luck.

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      • 1 August 01:07, by Khent


        Is that why we destroyed their Counties in counterattacks following massacres by Riek’s forces? Riek had to move from one Nuer area to the other in fear of his life. The Nuer have only have been a threat to the small Dinka sections in Upper Nile and have done anthing to Bahr el Ghazal - our heartland, strength and core of our population. More than 80% of our population is in...

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        • 1 August 01:13, by Khent

          ..Bahr el Ghazal. Dare the Nuer to enter Bahr el Ghazal. They tried it before but they NEVER return. These Bahr el Ghazal people have a limit to their patience so try them and see what happens. Matip tried it (with Khartoum’s help) and the forces he did send did not return to Unity State.

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        • 1 August 09:56, by Eastern

          The "Dinka Bor" haven’t learned a thing or two; Duk, Twic East, Baidit, etc were turned inside-out by by Nuer "white army" outfits in recent times sending thousands of dinkas into Equatoria, East Africa, Australia, Canada, US, etc. Let somebody from Bahr el Ghazal tell the nuers what awaits them there; as for you in the greater Bor area, you are simply fodder for the Nuer!

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          • 1 August 12:03, by Khent


            You’re right, the Dinka of Duk, Twic-east and Bor didn’t learn from the experiences of 1991. They should NEVER have disbanded the militia group they established in the 90s — a militia group that exacted revenge on the Nuer deep into Nuer territory in Jonglei. These Dinka communities can be book smart but they’re life dumb...

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            • 1 August 12:07, by Khent

              I love how you cheerleaders in Equatoria talk tough on the net but are nowhere to be seen on the battlefield (s) and yet you’re barking more than the Nuer.

              PS:There is no such thing as "greater Bor"; the people of Duk and Twic-east are not Bor.

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      • 1 August 01:25, by Mr Point

        Hello tribalists! This is not 1991.

        To get peace in SS is it necessary for the Dinkas to kill all the Nuer, and if they fail ...?

        To get peace in SS is it necessary for the Nuers to kill all the Dinkas, and if they fail ...?

        Is it possible to get peace with a transitional unit government?

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        • 1 August 01:31, by Mr Point

          What will be a permanent solution to the problems of insecurity,a broken economy and enforced displacement?

          Is endless tribal war a good and effective solution?

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          • 1 August 10:07, by Khent

            Mr Point

            The Dinka and the Nuer don’t even need to fight each other and could easily live in peace if they disown and abandon both Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. If these two communities just flat out refused to fight and die for these (mis)leaders there would be peace.

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    • 1 August 06:42, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      That’s a completely white lie,
      No fighting around Juba,
      Riek Machar forces wants to mislead public about impossible attack.

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    • 1 August 09:50, by Eastern

      A ploy? Get serious for once! Why should the Mathiang anyor men abandon the battlefront for the United Nations a Protection of Civilians site then. There is a raging war of attrition being waged at multiple fronts by Kiir to the detriment of hapless lads mainly from Greater Bahr el Ghazal drafted into military service. It’s hot and deadly out there!

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      • 1 August 10:02, by Khent


        Provide evidence that Mathiang anyor are running to the United Nations camps in Juba. Provide credible, impartial sources for this claim. It shouldn’t be too hard, right?

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      • 1 August 10:30, by Panda Odhie

        You guys are feeding yourselves with the lies that are spreading in FBK in order to give you moral. The game is over

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  • 31 July 22:31, by Panda Odhie

    Gadet is very liar if they are capable to capture city why are they eagerly for the deployment of third force.these are white lie made to keep supporters encourage.

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  • 1 August 00:24, by Dinka-Defender-General

    Machar is laying again. He lied to Nuer people in 1991, 2013, and 2016 about war such as the war was between Dinka and Nuer, Dinkas dominate the government, and kiir is dictator, and so forth. Most nuers are aware about his objectives and greedy for a position and power.

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  • 1 August 04:37, by Hardlinner

    If mouth piece gatdet and his boss had capacity, why didn’t hey stay on and fight government forces in juba. It quite true Riek want to divert attention away from where he trying to escape. Event foolish nuer have known your trick and will not surcome to your lies. Government should hunt them down one by one and finish them. Taban is right leader for io.

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    • 1 August 08:56, by viper

      Gadet and his IO sympathisers are telling us to reject any news coming from their end. How can you keep lying to the whole world while there are satellites monitoring this world? Is that not shameful on your thinking? It was yesterday when I came from Yei to Juba using public transport. Where did this huge force came from to be closing in on Juba? Soon your movement will be labelled as a group of

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      • 1 August 09:05, by viper

        ......... Liars. IOs under Riek Machar cannot and will never make it to Juba by force come what. Your real intention is well understood. You guys want to exert pressures on the region and international community to bring back your embattled boss who is running out of time and agenda after he was surprised by the new first vice president at home here. Keep lying.

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        • 1 August 13:41, by Akook

          SPLM-IO may not be closing in, on Juba this time but as they recollect themselves including bringing in new troops from Upper Nile which are they are doing now, may in the end storm Juba city. The same way they overrun Malakal and Bor in a lightening speed. Let us prepare for Mogadishu ..

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          • 1 August 14:15, by Khent


            Those initial succeses can quite easily be chalked up to the fact that the Nuer accounted for 70% of the army prior to the outbreak of war in 2013 and so Salva had to mobilize and form up new battalions and divisions — divisions that now control all those areas and more.

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