16 December 2013

Sudan: Kiir Says Ex-VP Machar Planned Attack, Declares Curfew in Juba

Photo: Arne Doornebal/ RNW
Sudan Air defence.

Juba — South Sudan president, Salva Kiir has accused his former vice-president of alleged involvement Sunday's attack on the military headquarters in the country's capital, Juba.

Sporadic gunfire, which started Sunday evening rocked the capital and continued this morning, sending residents into panic.

Clad in full military attire, however, Kiir said an attack "by a group of soldiers allied to the former vice-president Dr Riek Machar and his group" occurred at the army headquarters near Juba University.

"These attacks continued until this morning", the president, flanked by his deputy, James Wani Igga told the press in Juba.

" I can however tell you that my government is now in full control of the situation", added Kiir, also commander in chief of the national army (SPLA).

Unconfirmed reports say residence within Juba and its outskirts were fleeing the capital, but these could not be independently verified.

Curfew in Juba

Meanwhile, the South Sudanese leader has announced a dust-to-dawn curfew in Juba, saying justice would prevail on those were behind the attack.

"The curfew will start from 6pm to 6am local time in Juba, Kiir said, adding "Justice will prevail and those attackers are being pursued".

Hundreds Camp at UNMISS

Hundreds of civilians, the United Nations said, have sought refuge in their compound adjacent to the country's airport and at their base in Jebel Kujur area. Most of them are women and children.

"While UNMISS is not a humanitarian operator, and our mandate is to protect civilians, basic water supplies and medical treatment are being provided. We hope the security situation in Juba will quickly normalize to enable the civilians to return very soon to their residential areas," it said in a statement.

To that end, UNMISS calls on all parties to show continued calm and restraint, it added and dismissed any suggestion that it was harbouring any key political or military figures linked to the incident.

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