South Sudan

5 dead in SPLA fight with Machar bodyguards

South Sudanese former rebel Riel machar at Juba airport

South Sudanese former rebel Riel machar at Juba airport

James Gatdet Dak, the spokesperson of the office of the vice president says calm has returned to the South Sudan capital Juba after clashes between military.

“The two Commanders-in-Chief, His Excellency President Salva Kiir and His Excellency First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, have called for calm and vowed to restraint their respective forces,” Dak said on Friday.

He said on Thursday evening, there was military clash between 10 soldiers (SPLA-IO) and forces of the SPLA at around 8pm in Juba.

“SPLA forces attacked our soldiers from the protection unit who were traveling in a vehicle on Gudele road in the town,” Dak said.

He revealed that the attacked soldiers were taking food to their colleagues who always sleep in the office of the First Vice President at night to guard it.

“A number of soldiers have been killed on the other side (SPLA). Two of our soldiers have sustained wounds.”

The Thursday clash which lasted for more than 10 minutes later stopped and opposition soldiers returned to their base at Jebel Kujur.

“They have however remained vigilant. The situation is tense, but we hope the other side will stop the provocations to resume war.

SPLA spokesperson Brig Gen Lul Ruai Koang confirmed the incident saying the soldiers who attacked Machar guards were carrying out a routine search on vehicles pass through Luo-Clinic checkpoint.

“The hostile fire resulted in the deaths of 5 SPLA soldiers and wounding of 2 others,” Lul said, noting that Bilpham had treated the incident as an isolated one.

He said the security forces were mandated to strengthen security in the capital.

Earlier, a military vehicle carrying two security officers of the opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA-IO) under the command of Machar, was stopped on the road on Wednesday and taken away by force by soldiers belonging to the SPLA loyal to President Salva Kiir.

In retaliation, the SPLA-IO soldiers stopped a military pickup truck carrying soldiers of the SPLA, surrounded it and told the soldiers to get out of the vehicle by force.

The soldiers complied and their vehicle was taken to the SPLA-IO base at Jebel Kujur as compensation.

Dak said the Thursday incident was “another unfortunate provocation” despite that two of their officers were also killed by the SPLA military intelligence and national security personnel days ago.

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