South Sudan

Fresh gunfire breaks out on S.Sudan Independence Day


Kiir, Machar, 2nd VP & Interior minister seated inside the presidential palace.

Gunfire broke out Saturday morning at around dawn in Magwi in Eastern Equatoria in the police and prisons area.

The fighting was serious at first but since subsided and become more sporadic, according to Radio Tamazuj.

A resident told Radio Tamazuj that there was serious shooting but said he did not know why.

James Gatdet Dak, the spokesperson of the first vice president’s office, said sporadic shootings continued throughout the night in pockets of areas around Jebel and Gurei.

“However, generally, relative calm has returned to Juba.”

Last night, South Sudan President Salva Kiir, first vice president Riek Machar, and vice president Wani Igga stood together and spoke while gunfire echoed outside the presidential palace in the capital Juba.

According to Kiir, the three men were meeting to discuss the incident of Thursday night when five soldiers were killed in a skirmish in Gudele between SPLA and SPLA-IO forces.

Heavy gunfire including artillery fire was heard around the presidential compound as SPLA battle tanks were seen moving around the compound.

More heavy gunfire was exchanged at Juba Bridge around Gumbo area, spreading toward Cherikat, causing citizens to flee.

Gunfire was also heard from Hai Amarat, Tongpiny, and Jebel neighbourhoods.

About three military helicopters were spotted hovering above the city.

Leaders call for calm

A press conference of the Presidency was played on SSBC at 10:05pm.

The three leaders assured the people to remain calm.

They also clarified that none of them planned or had knowledge about the cause of the fighting near the Presidential Palace at around 4pm, Friday, July 8, 2016.

More fighting on Independence Day

The Magwi clashes broke out on the same day July 9, when South Sudan is supposed to be celebrating its independence from North Sudan.

South Sudan People’s Liberation Army [SPLA] on Thursday commenced airshows in preparations for Independence Day celebrations.

Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, SPLA Spokesperson, said the Office of Chief of General Staff had dispatched two L-39s Jet Fighters from SPLA Air Force conducted air shows to commemorate 5th Anniversary of Independence.

Earlier reports indicated that the youngest state would not celebrate its Independence Day this year due to economic crisis.

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