South Sudan Fighting: Fighting Erupts in South Sudan Army Barracks, 5 Soldiers Dead / Africa News


Gunfire has erupted inside the main military barracks in the South Sudanese capital Juba on late Wednesday.

Eyewitnesses told the Reuter African Service that the bodies of government soldiers lay in the street outside the military headquarters with residents running for cover amid thick smoke and a continuing gunfire.

Army spokesman, Brig Ayuen said the fighting erupted after soldiers argued with the top military pay panel over delayed salaries. He confirmed that five soldiers were killed in the fighting and described them as “martyrs’’.

He added that troops loyal to the government have been deployed in heavy numbers in surrounding streets, and roadblocks have been set up.

The US embassy in Juba has issued a statement, advising its nationals to stay indoors as it says the security situation is very fragile.

Local reporters say the government of South Sudan has introduced a new payment system to curb corruption, following concerns raised by donors that most of donor funds end up in dubious hands in the country.

It requires soldiers and civil servants to receive their wages in person so that money is not paid into the accounts of ghost employees or to those who do not turn up for work but being able to have access to their salaries and this process might have caused a little misunderstanding between the officers, local reporters adds.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in an almost three-month-long conflict between the government forces of President Salva Kiir and rebels loyal to former sacked vice President, Riek Machar.

A ceasefire was agreed between the two sides in early January in a deal mediated by regional leaders but both sides have accused each other of violating the ceasefire agreement.

Both President Kiir and Mr. Machar were part of the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) which fought for independence from Sudan but relation between the two worsen in less than 2 years of independence from Sudan.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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