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Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

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Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

Post by Rachel on Mon Dec 16 2013, 23:06

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(Reuters) - Gunfire rang out again in South Sudan's capital Juba late on Monday hours after President Salva Kiir said his forces had quelled an "attempted coup" by supporters of his sacked deputy.

Kiir earlier said fighters loyal to former vice president Riek Machar had attacked an army base into the early hours of Monday morning, but the military was in control. He imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew.

After the streets emptied, and thousands of locals took refuge in U.N. compounds in Juba, diplomats and a U.N. official reported hearing fresh shooting from around 10 p.m. (1900 GMT) in the city's Tomping neighbourhood.

"We too have heard the gunshots in Tomping. Really urging everyone to stay indoors and stay safe," the U.S. embassy in Juba said on its Twitter feed. Mobile phone networks were down across the capital.

The U.N. official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters they had turned out the lights to avoid attracting attention.

The government has struggled to establish a functioning state since declaring independence from Sudan in 2011 to become Africa's newest nation.

Kiir dismissed Machar after mounting public criticism at the government's failure to deliver better public services in the oil-producing nation, which is the size of France but barely has any tarmac roads.

The two men are from different ethnic groups which have clashed in the past. Machar has said he wants to run for president.

Heavy gunfire and blasts first erupted late Sunday and into early morning, then appeared to die down by midday, as government soldiers patrolled the streets and set up roadblocks, said witnesses.

Kiir appeared on national television on Monday afternoon, flanked by ministers and wearing combat fatigues rather than his usual civilian clothes.

He said the fighting broke out after an unidentified person fired shots in the air near a ruling party conference.

"This was followed later by an attack at the SPLA (South Sudan army) headquarters near Juba University by a group of soldiers allied to the former vice-president Dr Riek Machar and his group. These attacks continued until this morning," he said.

"However, I would like to inform you, at the outset, that your government is in full control of the security situation in Juba."

At least 10,000 civilians took refuge in U.N. compounds in the capital, said one U.N. official who asked not to be named.

Kenyan airlines Fly540 and Kenya Airways suspended flights indefinitely to Juba after the airport closed.

Speaking by phone earlier in the day, a U.N. spokesman said seven people had been treated for gunshot wounds, including a two-year-old boy.

A Reuters reporter saw one man with blood all over his legs being carried by civilians along the largely deserted streets in the direction of the hospital.

The earlier clashes were concentrated at two military bases, the Bilpam barracks north of the airport and the Jebel barracks south of Juba, where the presidential guard is based, residents said.

CALLING FOR RESTRAINT

The fighting is the latest setback for one of Africa's poorest states. Oil production, South Sudan's main source of revenue, was shut down for 15 months till April because of a row with Sudan, which hosts the main export oil pipeline.

"I urge all parties in the fighting to cease hostilities immediately and exercise restraint," U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General Hilde Johnson said.

Jok Madut Jok, chairman of South Sudan's Sudd Institute think tank, also said troops loyal to Machar were to blame.

"Riek Machar is not new to this kind of militaristic avenue to power," he said by telephone from Juba.

After accepting his dismissal at the time, Machar has since accused the president of acting like a dictator. Kiir said last week that some "comrades" were threatening to drag the nation back to a period in 1991 when South Sudanese ranks were split.

The fighting has revived memories of the factionalism in the 1990s within the Sudan People's Liberation Movement - the group that fought Sudan's army in the north for two decades. Machar led a splinter faction and south-south clashes erupted.

Machar is from the Nuer tribe which has fought in the past with South Sudan's dominant Dinka tribe, to which Kiir belongs.

"The divisions, largely along ethnic lines illustrate the embattled position the new nation's government is in," political risk consultants Eurasia Group said.

Critics say the new nation suffers the same ills as old Sudan, namely rampant corruption, poor public services and repression of government opponents and media.

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Re: Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

Post by party animal - not! on Tue Dec 17 2013, 00:17

Now this is a tricky one, the leader and deputy leader of the country possibly fighting, both from different tribes........

Machar is a highly educated man (some of it in the UK I believe) who's been described as 'extremely patient' but who is also a former guerilla fighter, was married to a UN worker from the UK before she was killed in a motoring accident.

Sounds like a power struggle, with discontent about the lack of progress on development i e roads etc in South Sudan. But perhaps I am oversimplifying
things..........

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Re: Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

Post by Rachel on Tue Dec 17 2013, 01:14

That UN worker got dismissed because of her marriage, was 29 and pregnant when killed. Machar got a lot of information through her. You really believe it was an accident or an easy way to get rid of her...
Highly educated to be extremely violent and ethnical oriented responsible for the killings of several thousands of civilian lives.
Sure none of them has a white vest - lets hope for the people of South Sudan that there will be no new blood bathings...

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Re: Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

Post by party animal - not! on Tue Dec 17 2013, 01:41

Any idea why she was fired, Rachel? Presumably the marriage meant she was taking sides and so therefore no longer neutral.

And yes, it's unclear what caused the 'accident' in Nairobi and killed her and her unborn baby.

Trial warfare and possible corruption is not going to help anybody, and anyone hoping to invest there (!!!) may have second thoughts unless this can be sorted out.....

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Re: Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

Post by Mazy on Tue Dec 17 2013, 23:05

Thanks Rachel for this new information, I'm still not doing much at all yet. Mostly I check on George things and pick up a little info here and there. Thanks again

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Re: Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

Post by What Would He Say on Tue Dec 17 2013, 23:14

@Mazy.... I know you will be interested in this....
NEWSER) – The State Department today issued a travel warning for South Sudan, recommending that all Americans "depart immediately," as violence rises in the wake of an attempted coup. That includes non-emergency US personnel, who have already been ordered to depart, forcing the US to suspend normal operations at its embassy there until further notice.

At least 66 soldiers have been killed so far in clashes in Juba, the capital of the world's newest country, al-Jazeera reports. Gunshots rang out within earshot of the embassy, and military vehicles roamed the mostly empty streets as residents barricaded themselves inside. The UN says that roughly 10,000 people have sought refuge at the two UN compounds there, according to CNN, and hospitals are straining to deal with an influx of patients.

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Re: Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

Post by Atalante on Tue Dec 17 2013, 23:15

" Critics say the new nation suffers the same ills as old Sudan, namely rampant corruption, poor public services and repression of government opponents and media. "  super cool 

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Re: Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

Post by Mazy on Tue Dec 17 2013, 23:38

WWHS yes thanks for this. I know when we had the shutdown they were saying not to travel there but now this ordering everyone out is serious.

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Re: Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

Post by Nicky80 on Thu Dec 19 2013, 18:27

Google translation

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Bloody riots: German General is firmly seated in Southern Sudan

Heavy fighting shake South Sudan, hundreds of people died. The German General Hans-Werner Fritz and a ten-member delegation can not leave. UK plans an airlift to bring its citizens to safety.

Juba / New York - Because of the bloody unrest in Southern Sudan is the armed forces is concerned. The German Chief of Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant General Hans -Werner Fritz , can not leave the embattled African country so far . With a ten-member delegation , he is there on their missions. But his return flight is delayed , according to a spokesman of the Operations Command .

Rebels and the army to deliver fierce clashes in South Sudan , the riots have spread from the capital Juba on other parts of the country . Hundreds of people are believed to have come in recent days killed and a further 300 were treated according to the Red Cross in hospitals. Juba Airport was closed since Monday , but is now open again.
The German Armee has stationed as part of the UN mission UNMISS has long been soldiers in the unstable country, the Mission has recently been extended until the end of 2014. Currently, 16 German soldiers keep on in the country they are housed according to " Rhenish Post" protected property of the United Nations .

More and more Western countries bring their citizens aware of the struggles in safety. Early Thursday morning, Britain announced the establishment of an air bridge to , the BBC reported, citing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in London. The U.S. has already begun on Wednesday to airlift compatriots from the crisis country. 150 U.S. citizens and diplomats have left South Sudan , according to the U.S. State Department . The regular work of the embassy was set .

According to a report by Deutsche Welle (DW) also about 160 German DW including three employees were brought out of the country . The Foreign Office warns against travel since Tuesday in the African country .

Warnings of a new civil war

The locals can not leave - they are looking to the United Nations protection. According to the United Nations says about 20,000 civilians have arrived in two buildings in Juba. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep concern . " This is a political crisis , to intervene immediately with political dialogue in the must ," he said.

After the serious unrest in the capital in recent days, the situation eased there for the first time . But " even though it's been since Sunday the calmest day , the crisis goes on , because it's fought in other parts of the country ," said a spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission.
The fighting between troops that President Salva Kiir are loyal , and soldiers that support a leader of the opposition , were erupted on Sunday. Kiir accuses his former deputy Riek Machar , trying to overthrow the government. On Monday, gunmen apparently had tried in combat in Juba to storm the Ministry of Defence.

In recent weeks, leading members of the former rebel group and now the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement ( SPLM) accused the President publicly " dictatorial " behavior before . The multi-layered conflict has also ethnic dimensions. Experts warn of a new civil war in the young country that had split in 2011 from a neighbor Sudan.

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Re: Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

Post by Nicky80 on Thu Dec 19 2013, 18:38

Google translation

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Unrest in Africa: South Sudan's former vice-president calls for overthrow President

The clashes in South Sudan are more violent: Riek Maschar, rival of President Kiir calls for his overthrow. The rebels, meanwhile, conquer an important city in the east of the country. The German army general who was stuck in the country, but it should now be safe.


Juba - After days of bloody riots of the former South Sudanese Vice President Riek Maschar has called on the army of the country to the coup against President Salva Kiir . Let him call for the former rebel group and now ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement ( SPLM) to become " overthrow Salva Kiir from his post as Head of State " , Maschar told the French radio station RFI .

After fierce fighting with rebels , government soldiers are said to have captured the important town of Bor in southern Sudan . Followers of the dissident General Peter Gatdet Yak had first attacked on Tuesday the military barracks in the capital of the state of Jonglei and finally taken on Wednesday evening the whole city. The newspaper reported that " Sudan Tribune " on Thursday .
When fighting between rival factions of the army , hundreds of people were killed in South Sudan since Sunday . Background of continuing violence since Sunday is a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar former in July .

The riots are also ethnically motivated : Kiir belongs to the ethnic group of the Dinka , Nuer Machar is a . Between the two rival ethnic groups occurs in the poverty-stricken East African country repeatedly to brutal attacks. Even the renegade General Gatdet Yak is a Nuer and therefore switched to the side of the rebels , it said. The fighting between government soldiers and rebels in southern Sudan , meanwhile, pointed even further : The army lost control of the important town of Bor in the east of the country to rebels.

German Armee flies around 100 German out

After the United States now also Germany and the UK bring citizens out of the country. On Thursday launched a Transall transport aircraft with 93 seats out of the German Armee mission in the West African country of Mali and a small passenger aircraft of type Global 5000 with 13 places from Germany to pick up some 100 German . They are to be flown out on Friday .
In Southern Sudan, about 16 German soldiers take part in a UN peacekeeping mission . Even the Chief of Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant General Hans -Werner Fritz , sat experienced so far in the crisis country. According to information from the "Rheinische Post" from German Armee circles Fritz but has since landed with three companions safe in the Ugandan Entebbe.

The United Nations and the African Union show up for several days now deeply concerned about the escalating situation . Observers have warned of a looming civil war. Tens of thousands of people have sought refuge in the past few days in various buildings of the UN mission UNMISS . The young country was only in 2011 became independent after decades of civil war with Sudan . Despite rich oil reserves , most people in South Sudan live in extreme poverty.

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Re: Gunshots ring out in South Sudan capital after "attempted coup"

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