Home | News    Monday 4 July 2016

South Sudanese forces tighten security after gunmen killed SPLA-IO officer


July 3, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudanese security forces have stepped up security measures in and around the capital, Juba, after gunmen, reportedly to be members of the Military Intelligence (MI), killed an officer and a guard of top military commander of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO).

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South Sudanese soldiers sit on a truck at the airport in Juba on 12 June 2014 (Photo: AFP/Samir Bol)

Lt. Colonel George Gismala, eye witnesses said, was shot while seated and smoking shisha at a tea place in Kator residential area at around 11:20am.

A government military source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed in statements to Sudan Tribune that Colonel Gismala was killed by members of the MI. It was not clear why the officer was targeted.

The incident sparked panic and uncertainty among residents, some of whom said had witnessed the shootings.

Exact circumstances under which Colonel Gismala was shot dead remain unclear. Neither the SPLA nor SPLA-IO military spokespersons have come out to make a public statement on what transpired and the measures being put in place to diffuse tension.

Also, residents in the area told Sudan Tribune they witnessed the shooting but did not know what sparked it. The body of the dead was later on seen being carried onto a vehicle of those who shot him and took it away.

Late George, a relative to General Martin Kenyi who is a senior military commander of the SPLA-IO, defected from President Salva Kiir’s government two years ago and was promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel by the armed opposition faction. He previously served as Military Intelligence (MI) officer in the government at the rank of Captain before his defection to the SPLA-IO.

Some Eye witnesses claimed the deceased was shot dead after engaging in a discussion with members of national security at a tea place over the issue of the delay of the establishment of cantonment sites as well as the continued presence of additional government soldiers and security personnel inside Juba, despite transitional security arrangements recommending a limited number of joint force to be in the town.

Bodyguards of General Martin Kenyi, another high ranking armed opposition figure, were also shot at, resulting in injury, one of whom remains in critical condition.

Attackers were not yet identified by names and no arrest was made, although the body of the deceased was reportedly carried to a military base in Juba.

In an attempt to control the situation, government soldiers and plain cloth security personnel were seen patrolling key streets in the town in what residents described as efforts to impose security measures to avoid another flare up.

Police spokesperson told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that a tighter partnership between police, defence and security forces and the population would ensure “the best possible intelligence can be put to use.”

“There is nothing. People should not panic. The presence of the security forces on the street is to strengthen the human and material resources of all our defence and security forces to adapt to new challenges. We are living in an unprecedented situation, which requires us to be civil-minded and much more vigilant,” said Brigadier General Daniel Justin Boulo, when reached to comment on the development.

He called on residents to notify police authorities and security officers of the presence of unknown people in their neighbourhoods, especially those in unusual and suspicious activities.

This comes after a similar incident occurred last month when members of national security opened fire at the bodyguards of the armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, in Juba.

Also unknown gunmen fired guns near the resident of Machar at Jebel Kujur on Saturday night, but his forces did not return fire.

The series of incidents have received mixed reactions from the citizens, with some asserting that the incidents were politically motivated to send out a message to the people that anti-peace elements in the government are not ready for peace and are therefore working everything possible to trigger a return to war.

Juba residents say there are fears of growing insecurity situation in the capital.


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  • 4 July 2016 01:13, by Malakal county Simon

    Two things the SPLM-IO leadership need to request Kiir faction and do right away!!

    1. Arrest the culprit or the perpetrators and bring them to book.

    2. Tit for tat since it’s become cleared that the Kiir faction are the one who organised these so called unknown gun men to do their dirty work.

    SPLM-IO VIVA!! But we must be vigilant all the times

    repondre message

  • 4 July 2016 02:18, by DHARCHEP

    Riek Machar is the next person.

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    • 4 July 2016 03:11, by Malakal county Simon

      In your dream slave/Dinka of unity state....... Why wishing for something which you can not handle of its consequences later on you fool!!

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      • 4 July 2016 06:29, by DHARCHEP

        No matter of how much you supported your demn bonehead leader. He will go.

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    • 4 July 2016 16:47, by Hardlinner

      aren’t people not sick of war or as madness engraved itself at your brains. irrespective of whether decease was member of IO or civil population, no one as right to kill any one. recruitment of less educated or tribal minded people is hurting the nation n everyone. it seemed people are living villagers in south Sudan. government should prosecute the culprits. if people r men enough,work ur farms.

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  • 4 July 2016 03:58, by Eastern

    What’s Dr Machar waiting for in Juba, his death? Let SPLA-io go back to Pagak and the rest will be history for the future. Kiir thought he fooled the whole world by signing an agreement he’s not living to. One by one all SPLA-io members in Juba will be killed. Is that what Dr Machar wNts to see happen?

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    • 4 July 2016 16:54, by Hardlinner

      Eastern, pls quit your shit. war is only left to primitives. neither Riek nor Kiir have what it take to be good leader. to me, they are just savages. they are morally n intellectual disable. a really human would not fight over leadership. Riek, kiir and their supporters fight for only one reason that is to become the head of mafias/warlords. those rag tag soldiers do not know what they fight for.

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  • 4 July 2016 07:22, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    That is a system of security where there is no longer matter, he is a only God who arrested his life.

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  • 4 July 2016 09:00, by Kerem

    SPLA-IO think they have all rights to behave extra ordinary in Juba. Let me hope he was killed for the right cause other it won’t be good to kill innocent person despite being an IO member

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    • 4 July 2016 17:01, by Hardlinner

      kerem, there no justification in killing any person. best thing a intellectually defeated person can do is walk away from argument. kiir should show his leadership in this case. otherwise there is no need for him to called himself a president. a country can never be better when rule of law is violated by people that suppose to implement it.

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  • 4 July 2016 09:21, by Akuma

    SPLM-IO are not professional soldiers but gangs of theives who want to take powers by forces. If SPLM-IO begin fighting again in Juba no way for Riek and SPLM-IO power greedy officials will running away again. Riek Machar is the next..Watch out, we are for implementation of Peace Agreement

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    • 4 July 2016 17:08, by Hardlinner

      Akuma, we should stop fooling ourselves. Kiir and Riek are criminals and can only benefit from tribal minded people. one thing u shld know is, neither kiir or Riek sons got killed during 1991 and 2013 wars. so be mindful. understand simle facts. respect your colleagues and they will respect back. south Sudan is indeed full of criminals that benefit on stupid people. open your eyes say no killing.

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  • 4 July 2016 11:31, by Konan

    SPLA/M should remember that no single incident had been reported against its members during the implementation of the CPA. Although our National Intelligence had the opportunity to shoot all SPLA/M leaders living in Khartoum at that time. My message to Dr. Machar, leave now! Dinka Kingdom is not Sudan and Juba is not Khartoum.

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  • 4 July 2016 14:10, by William Atak Garang.

    SPLA & SPLA IO should know the current situation that has skyrocketed the State, need all of us to preach for peace and coexistence amongst South Sudanese instead of continuation of conflict in the Country. What will you enjoy in this too much suffering of our people in the South ?

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    • 4 July 2016 17:19, by Hardlinner

      william Atak, some people do not know what is hurting them. they don’t even know the current states of economy in south Sudan. they simply do not know that they are shooting themselves on the foot.no wonder they are getting used by Kiir, Riek and rest of their thieves. south Sudan will only be safe and prospering when people regain their consciousness and respect.

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  • 4 July 2016 15:26, by Jetson

    It’s unfortunate that the two factions have mot yet come to security resolutions. But I think that chicha places are not suitable to discuss or argue sensitive matters especially for high ranking people like the deceased. My condolences to his family and government at large...

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  • 4 July 2016 16:28, by marie

    Salva Kiir will continue to do his madness. What Abel did during the high executive council is happening again. There is no way for us to live again with Dinka. Even if it takes 100 years, Equatoria has to become a country of its own. I personally do not believe in South Sudan with the rest of the non Equatoria tribes mingled together. Equatoria country now is our motto.

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    • 4 July 2016 17:29, by Hardlinner

      Marie, talk about the section of your own community. i hv spend most of my time in equatoria. what hv seen and learned is that they r not homogeneous. link among them is distance apart. what wld u do with people whose language is closer to dinka, nuer and shilluk than it does to common equatorian. Mundari, bari, acholi, pari and many are closer to non equatorians,like dinka, shilluk and nuer.

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  • 4 July 2016 17:55, by marie

    Hardlinner, yes there is no homogeneity among all the tribes, but we can live together in harmony as witnessed from 1983 to 2005. We have chosen our identity as Equatoria not the tribes to define us. Yes, we have Pari and Acholi who speak the same language with Shilluk and Jur. Tenet with Murle but culture wise, we have always been in peace. First we respect rule of law unlike the others.

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