Juba, December 17, 2013 (SSNA) — Fresh fighting erupted near presidential palace and the headquarters (Bilpham) of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) hours after South Sudanese president declared at a press conference that his government has taken full control of the security situation in the capital, Juba.
Sporadic gunfire can be heard, heavy weapons are being used, dead bodies are lying in the streets of Juba, and the situation in Juba remains tense.
Residents of the Juba are being asked by the authorities to stay in their homes and they are living in total fear.
The government has reported that it has arrested at least 10 senior former government officials, claiming they are behind the fighting.
Eyewitnesses said door to door targeted killings are being committed by the government forces, particularly presidential guards—the killings are aimed at anyone who the government sees as a threat to its existence. Some eyewitnesses believe the killings are aimed at one specific tribe, the Nuer.
“As we speak, some people are [being] killed in their homes by the presidential guards”, an Eyewitness told the South Sudan News Agency. “The situation in Juba is no longer political because innocent civilians are being killed for no reason [s] at all; there are dead bodies in houses, on door-steps, in the streets, and everywhere", the weeping resident said in a frightening voice.
Meanwhile presidential guards were seen taking dead bodies out of houses in Jebel Kur, 107, and Amarat residential areas and placed them in big trucks, prompting the citizens to suspect that the government forces might be trying to take the bodies to secret locations and hide them.
Medical sources said that security forces were seen denying people access to see or identify their dead relatives at the Juba Teaching Hospital.
The South Sudanese president has been accused by his senior colleagues of “dictatorial tendencies”, causing a fury from the president and his political allies.
Kiir, who is also the chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Moment (SPLM), refuses to compromise with his political rivals.
Kiir’s angry simmered soon after his senior colleagues walked out of the National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting last Saturday, labeling the process as “dictatorial and undemocratic”.