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South Sudan army denies responsibility for July clashes in Juba


South Sudanese policemen and soldiers are seen along a street following renewed fighting in South Sudan's capital Juba, July 10, 2016. (Reuters Photo)

September 13, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan army (SPLA) has denied the responsibility for the renewed clashes in the national capital, Juba, between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former first deputy, Riek Machar.

A report by the United Nations (UN) has held President Kiir and the Chief of General Staff, Paul Malong Awan, responsible for organizing and carrying out provocative acts leading to the deadly military confrontations at presidential palace in Juba on 8 July, 2016, and the subsequent attacks on Machar’s residence on 10 July.

The army spokesperson announced at a news conference over the weekend that its command was outraged by the report, despite alleged attempts by the chief of staff to salvage the situation.

“SPLA Chief of General Staff was not responsible for Juba clashes. SPLA General Headquarters is outraged at UN’s accusation that the SPLA Chief of General Staff, General Paul Malong Awan organised and oversaw the July 2016 clashes at J1,” said army spokesman, Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang.

The military officer accused the United Nations of being part of the problem rather than the solution.

"We in the SPLA would like to announce to the whole world that the irresponsible statement confirmed UN’s continuation of negative smear campaign against top leadership of the military,” he said.

Koang attempted to absolve Awan by citing conviction of 60 SPLA soldiers, execution of 2 SPLA soldiers by firing squad in Wau, pardoning of 17 SPLA-IO fighters stranded at Juba Regency Hotel in July as well as the formation of the recovery operation unit as evidence that he was against the resumption of hostilities.

"We are disappointed that the UN doesn’t appreciate the efforts of the SPLA Chief of General Staff, and instead does what it could to paint him in bad light and the national army," he added.

He described report by the United Nations holding Awan responsible for organizing military confrontations as part of negative campaign to tarnish the image of the chief of staff.

Awan, according to Koang, should instead be commended for demonstrating leadership and for making sure that wrongdoers are held accountable.


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  • 14 September 09:56, by Mr Point

    There was no planned coup. It was a setup to murder Machar

    Machar’s bodyguards deployed outside the Palace in response to a false message . “A huge force came from nowhere and joined up with President Kiir’s tiger force and opened fire on them” (ST).

    1. Who sent the false message?
    2. Who knew of the meeting but was not there?
    3. Who wants to kill Riek Machar?
    4. Who commands “a huge force”?

    repondre message

    • 14 September 10:49, by jubaone


      Even Kiir did not/does not know what happened on 8 July 2016 at J1 (Jienge 1). Maybe these were not SPLA but nyors. It is a army without command structure, everybody just shooting randomly to the point these nyors even used heligunships, tanks and artillery to dislodge Dr. Riak. That is wonderful.

      repondre message

  • 14 September 11:12, by Mr Point

    This UN report shows Kiir’s government planned the July 2016 violence.

    Kiir’s army brought truckloads of ammunitions from Uganda in June.
    Machar’s faction did not buy ammunitions before the clashes.
    Kiir and Malong, directed MI-24 helicopters that only they had the authority to deploy.

    repondre message

  • 14 September 11:19, by Mr Point

    Project Sentry report shows the millionaire, Salva Kiir, profits from war crimes:
    There is a photograph of these helicopters on Kiir’s Luri farm on page 17
    The economy has collapsed. 20% of people are homeless, 50% are starving while Kiir loots the state to enrich his family

    repondre message

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