Kiir calls for Calm after five soldiers killed in Juba clash
At least five soldiers were killed in a clash between SPLA and SPLA-IO soldiers at a checkpoint in the Gudele neighborhood of South Sudan’s capital Juba Thursday night, according to officials and eyewitnesses.
The two sides clashed at a roundabout near Lou-Clinic around 8:15pm. The five soldiers killed are from SPLA side.
Government military spokesperson Brig Gen Lul Ruai confirmed that five of SPLA soldiers were killed yesterday.
“It was around 8 pm shooting took place at Lou Clinic roundabout where five SPLA soldiers were killed and two wounded. There is no reason for the two forces fighting each other again and we have treated this as an isolated case which doesn’t need panic,” he said.
“We don’t know that it is their vehicle and they opened fire on our security forces that are conducted searching but it was not aiming at them. I do not know why they took it in bad faith but we took it as an isolated incidents and everybody should go for their business,” Lul further said.
Lul said the checkpoints were set up yesterday in order to check vehicles with tinted windows.
Speaking on Friday to Radio Tamazuj, SPLA-IO spokesperson William Gatijiath Deng said two soldiers from their side were injured in the fight while another is missing.
“We have two soldiers from our side injured and one was shot and we haven’t found this soldier whether is dead or not,” said Gatjiath.
“At around 8:15pm, we had one of our last cars carrying our soldiers from the town going to the barracks in Gudele was stopped again and the government soldiers wanted to search their car and later the security shot at our car and our soldiers came out from the car, rushed, and fought back to them,” he said.
He said the IO soldiers have returned to their places after the incident.
“Up to now we are now at our barracks and we don’t have intention to fight again,” the spokesman said.
Gatjiath said that SPLA government troops at checkpoints had been stopping IO vehicles and holding them for long periods of time yesterday.
“We the IO, we are pushing to implement the peace and we are not really here to fight anyone, but only the SPLM-in government are agitating everytime, searching our cars, shooting our cars randomly, killing our people.”
Meanwhile, it was reported that President Salva Kiir and first vice president Riek Machar spoke by phone following the clash in order to arrest the situation.
So far Friday Juba has been calm. There has not been much movement of school children on the streets but there remains heavy military deployment.