“The unilateral cessation of hostilities announced by Presidential Spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny, came after days of fierce fighting between the government and SPLA-IO forces. President Kiir ordered the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and all other regular forces not to shoot any SPLA-In Opposition soldiers who surrender.“All the commanders of these forces are hereby directed to cease any hostility and abide by this order, control their forces and protect the civil population and their property,” the presidential order directed. “All the commanders deployed at the checkpoints within Juba city, shall reduce and limit such checkpoints to only essential and important installations,” the presidential order further states. Machar has subsequently declared a ceasefire, ordering his forces to stop fighting. After the ceasefire announcement by President Kiir, Juba was rocked by celebratory gunfire. Fighting already erupted on Friday July 8, at the State House in Juba, while President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar, as well as Vice President James Wani Igga met to discuss insecurity in South Sudan’s capital, just days before the country marked its fifth independence anniversary on July 9. South Sudanese rivals Machar and Kiir signed a peace agreement in August 2015 after a civil war that started in December 2013 as a result of a power struggle within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Over 10,000 people are believed dead and 2.3 million people fled their homes” (MICT. Office, 2016)
“South Sudan where President Salva Kiir has called for a ceasefire following five days of fighting. It comes as we’re hearing reports of more violence — this time around the US embassy. The United Nations is also threatening to impose an arms embargo against the country. Our correspondent Patrick Oyet is in the capital, Juba. We spoke to him a little earlier” (CCTV Africa, 2016).
“Orders of the president must be respected in letter and spirit” – Taban Deng Gai
As the state of affairs are escalating, as the fifth celebration of Independence from the Sudan and Khartoum, the Juba government and the South Sudanese Authorities went back into their old ways, and picked up their guns and ammunition. This has escalated as the President Salva Kiir and VP Riek Machar have since early July 2016, have had forces and battles between them, as their guards have in the city of Juba shot at each other and killed soldiers.
Even as the Peace Agreement and the not so long ago return of Dr. Riek Machar to Juba to fulfil the agreement, the recent days shootings and killings let the cease-fire in jeopardy and the also the security into shambles, as the efforts from the Trioka and the International Community to mediate, must have not given the effect the South Sudanese wished or looked out for, if not the easier way to deal with Power-Struggle is to grab the gun and assassinate dissidents than actually dialogue for peace.
This forgotten analysis came into my eye today:
“War started in South Sudan at 5:10pm and all Riek Machiar’s bodyguards killed.As we speak both Salva and Riek are held up at statehouse in Juba and general Paul Malong whos the chief of staff has deployed tanks surrounding statehouse and he’s believed that he’s the one that incited Salva’s bodyguards to kill all Riek’s bodyguards and even the mad Paul Malong ordered his soldiers to open fire at American CIA vehicle” (Taifa Takatifu-News, Opinon and Analysis, 08.07.2016).
Hard to know if this is true, as this will late be said not to be true, as the South Sudan News, will on the 10th July say something else. Reports from yesterday in Juba, are up to 400 have been killed in the skirmish in the city, as the SPLA/SPLM have attacked the base of SPLM-IO, the SPLA/SPLM are connected with the President the SPLM-IO is the ones behind the armies in the civil war between Machar and Kiir, and these are the ones fighting today.
In wake of this Kenya Airways have suspended their routes from Nairobi to Juba, as they do not want to risk casualties. The American Government through their mission in the country have given this warning today:
“Message to American Citizens – The situation in Juba has significantly deteriorated. There is serious ongoing fighting between government and opposition forces, including near the airport, UNMISS locations, Jebel and elsewhere throughout Juba. U.S. citizens in Juba should remain vigilant. You should shelter in a safe location, preferably away from doors and windows, and avoid non-essential movements. The Embassy continues to monitor the situation and will update you as appropriate” (US Mission in Juba, 10.07.2016).
The Health Ministry official numbers of killings in the battles in Juba are 300. Though differing from the reports reported yesterday, still proves there massive battles between the SPLM and SPLM-IO. The battles have for instance taken place between Eye Radio and a UN base on the Jebel Kujur, so the positions and the nearby locations for the violence don’t matter at this point. The Protected of Civilians (PoC) in the UN base might be the next in line as the escalations is not easy to know. There been reports of even army helicopter flying of Airport road and dropping missiles as the fighting are turning from single army men into full-fledged war, as there been seen tanks in middle of the streets dipping through traffic. There been also reports of two helicopters flying around in Jedel and Gudele, where they also where bombing, as locals have reported. SPLA Spokesperson has confirmed that fighting have broken out in Tong Ping close to the UN base.
While this have been also reported today:
“General Dau Aturjong Nyuol, the SPLA Liberation hero who due to some personal grievances, joined the IO in 2013 has now confirmed and have defected from IO back to the SPLA-IG where he is now with Paul Malongand Kuol Manyang. General Dau had bravery fought to liberate his people during Khartoum war. SPLA army have welcomed him back but on supervision under Chief of Staff hand. Talking to South Sudan News was a close person to the Chief of General staff and he had told us that he came by himself without army” (South Sudan News, 10.07.2016).
Some have reported that their not only between President Kiir and VP Machar, but also one force driven by Gen. Manyang, but the reports are not verifying those rumors as the evidence of the whole situation is hard to get by, as there we’re reports that Kiir had called his old friend Museveni, and hired the UPDF to deal with the newfound situation, as they have been a hired army for him before. There been reports that the Ugandan authorities telling the world that they are not involved now.
Another report is that NGOs are leaving their offices and evacuate from Juba into Kenya, though the ones doing so is not mentioned, as they live in amp speed from the violence. Like ICRC have stated they cannot work in this kind of state: “Fierce fighting going on in Juba, South Sudan in unclear circumstances. Our teams not able to work” (ICRC, 10.07.2016).
There are more to it, as this has been reported to the BBC Africa: “According to the BBC’s Africa Editor Mary Harper, the spokesman Colonel William Gatjiath said Mr Machar’s troops were advancing towards the centre of Juba from different directions. He said hundreds of soldiers from both sides had been killed in the several hours of fighting. What started as relatively minor clashes on Thursday have now escalated to something far more serious. South Sudan marked its fifth anniversary of independence on Saturday, but there was little to celebrate. It looks like Africa’s youngest country could be slipping back into civil war” (BBC Africa, 10.07.2016).
There been also reported that the house of Dr. Riek Machar have been raided, bombed by helicopter twice this Sunday. So the direct attacks are not only from the Government forces, or the SPLA/SPLM towards the base of the SPLM-IO. The SPLM-IO have later in the day closed off the roads in Yei and Luri roads, that are roads that are connecting South Sudan with Uganda. So the precautions for former helper UPDF have been done this time by Dr. Riek Machar’s soldiers. There been also reported that the SPLM-IO have been fleeing towards the Jebel Lado, as there been heavy fighting today on the Jebel Hill, as there been reports from local newscasters as Nyamilepedia.
This has also been reported:
“General Dau Aturjong have defected from Dr Riek camp with 1000 soldiers and he joined the National Army SPLA forces and Dr Riek left to Pagak” (Africa Security News, 10.07.2016).
This is the official reported numbers:
“A statement attributed to the Ministry of Health says the death toll from Friday’s fighting in Juba is 271. There were 32 civilians among the dead.“The SPLA lost 44 soldiers, South Sudan National Police 5, and the other 190 dead are believed to be SPLA-IO given their distinctive uniform. 34SPLA, civilians and police are being treated for their injuries at Juba Teaching Hospital (15), The Juba Military Hospital (15) and two (2) at Peace Hospital, a private Chinese health facility in Juba. More information will be made available as appropriate. The Ministry regrets loss of lives. Heath professionals are doing their best to ensure lives are saved and minimise the suffering,” the statement read. The death toll is expected to rise as these are preliminary figures” (South Sudan Today, 10.07.2016).
There will be more to come as this unfolds, as the death-toll and the staggering violence from both SPLA/SPLM and the SPLM-IO continues at speed, as the bullets, the army attacks from both sides, as the losses continue to pile up, the endless of fleeing civilians and the loss of hope for the facilitations of the recent peace-agreement of 2015 to be hold-on to. As the President Kiir and VP Machar does what they can to take grip of power, and use their fellow citizens and soldiers as shield for ambition, instead of bridging peace and progress for the youngest nation. The newly incorporated nation into the East African Community (EAC) and their Protocol, as the nation who has even works with Kenya as they are to settle to the pipelines and infrastructure plans with the rest of East Africa. Instead they go back to guns and ammunition, where the peace, turns into war, the cease-fire cease to exists and the tat-tat-tat continues until darkness. The assassinations and the plots to take down army leaders on both sides will be the next, as they want ‘headless chickens’ in battle and not men of leadership behind the barracks and barricades of the enemy. Instead of peace, there will be bloodshed, even as the United Nations, fellow neighbor countries President and PM, Kenya and Ethiopia condemns the actions, the violence is still happening. This was not how the 5th Year Anniversary should have happen, it should be with hope of progress and peace, instead it is the opposite. Peace.
“TVC NEWS Interviews Edmund Yakani, Human Rights Activist on how South Sudan cancelled Independence Celebration” (TVC News, 2016).
JUBA, South Sudan, July 8, 2016 – The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) condemns in the strongest terms the resurgence of violence in the country, which has resulted in numerous civilian casualties and injuries over the course of the week in Juba, Wau and Bentiu. UNMISS reiterates its calls on all parties to put an end to the ongoing fighting and refrain from inflicting further violence against innocent civilians.
We equally deplore the indiscriminate shooting attack on a senior United Nations agency official that took place yesterday evening in the Tomping area of Juba. Such an act constitutes a grave violation of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the United Nations. UNMISS calls on the authorities to investigate this incident and bring the perpetrators to account.
The UN and the international community are here to assist the people of South Sudan on their road to peace, and under no uncertain terms should its installation/premises or personnel be subjected to targeting nor violence.
The Special Representative of the Secretary General and head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, SRSG Ellen Margrethe Loej, urges all parties “on the eve of South Sudan’s Fifth Anniversary of Independence to cease from engaging in violence and to focus on the implementation of the peace agreement for the benefit of all the people of South Sudan.”
The UN remains resolved in fulfilling its mission in South Sudan and supporting the implementation of the Peace Agreement for a peaceful and prosperous country.