12/17/2013

SOUTH SUDAN, JUBA: NEW CLASHES, THOUSANDS SEEK REFUGE AT UN BASES

http://www.misna.org/en/other/juba-new-clashes-thousands-seek-refuge-at-un-bases-17-12-2013-813.html

Clashes resumed overnight in Juba and are still underway, report MISNA sources contacted in different areas of Juba, a day after President Salva Kiir denounced a “coup attempt” by forces loyal to his former vice-president Riek Machar.
“They are shooting everywhere and we are all barricaded in our homes”, said Albino Tokwaro, director of the Catholic Radio Bakhita, reached in a central area of the city. “Fighting is underway in the airport area and other neighborhoods”, added Tapiwa Gomo, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Gomo confirmed that the ongoing violence and reprisals has caused some 13,000 people to seek refuge at two UN bases.
According to South Sudan’s Foreign minister Barnaba Marial, the army today is “quashing” the “last few” soldiers who backed the coup attempt. There is no independent confirmation on this statement.
Reports last night indicated the arrest of four former ministers, who like Machar were removed from their posts last July by the President. According to the government, the fighting has so far left 26 dead and 120 injured.
No incidents have been reported outside the capital. “People went to work as usual here in Wau and the situation appears normal for now”, said a MISNA source from the north-western city.
The fighting broke out on Sunday night in Juba in the main barracks of the city, after a failed meeting between Kiir and Machar. The units engaged in the clashes belong mostly to the two main communities of South Sudan, the Dinka to which the President belongs and Nuer of the former vice-president. [VG/BO]
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