October 13, 2016 (JUBA) - Shop owners in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, have resumed work following an abrupt closure on Wednesday, following false reports of Salva Kiir’s death on the social media.
- People walk through a market in the southern Sudanese city of Juba January 7, 2011 in Juba - (File photo AFP/Getty)
Interior Minister Michael Chienyjiek issued a statement dismissing the allegation, describing them as rumours circulated by "criminals to use it as the opportunity to loot.
“Stay calm, and carry on normally. There should no fear. The president had already come out yesterday and you saw him touring the whole town yesterday. This was to confirm to the public that he is alive. What happened was another social media hoax”, said Chienyjiek
He commended various markets in Juba which resumed activities on Wednesday evening after few hours of abrupt closure. Traders and hawkers who had run away from custom market have resumed since 5.00 PM local time yesterday and were selling their goods normally.
Several markets such as Konyokonyo, Jebel and Juba markets have also resumed operation according to sources. Many residents claimed the run from market on Wednesday after some running without asking the cause. Others attributed the cause to a crackdown on money exchangers by the police.
“I have resumed work normally today. Yesterday my shop was closed because there was confusion allover. Some people were running unnecessarily. If you ask, no one would give a definite answer, Deng Mawien, a trader in Malakia market told Sudan Tribune on Thursday.
But while others were running due to fear stemming from rumours about the death of the president, others were running away from police measures banning money changers on the street in fulfillment of municipality order.
Police force launched an operation to crack down on U.S. dollar hawkers, causing them to flee the market. No gun shot was fired by the police when the police carried out the operation.
Earlier this year, Mayor of Juba City banned selling of U.S. dollars on the street of Juba, and ordered the police to crackdown on those selling dollars. Armed robbers attacked Konyokonyo market
SPLA Spokesperson Brig. Gen Lul Ruai Koang told journalists that people in Konyokonyo market fled when armed robbers attacked and robbed at gun point leading to the closure of the market yesterday,
He said that 3 robbers entered the market and started terrorizing people using pistols. Two of the robbers were apprehended and 1 is still at large. The two robbers, he said were later found to be foreign nationals.