Updated at 7:50 Am, July 1, 2014.
June 30, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Trucks loaded with bodies, soaked in blood, have allegedly arrived at the Juba technical hospital on 30th June, 2014.
The three trucks were reportedly loaded with wounded soldiers from a fresh heavy fighting at the neighboring Terekeka, the home town of Central Equatoria State Governor, Clement Wani Konga. Sources from within Juba reported hearing heavy gunshots towards Juba from 10pm in the direction of Terekeka. The gunshots allegedly subsided at around midnight.
Similar fighting has been reported by fleeing residents in Yei. Hundreds of the local population are fleeing Yei town as gunshots approach a town that has been relatively calmed for the last three months.
According to Dawar Bol, a resident of Yei, the security status in Yei town is very volatile as residents fear an attack any time.
“We are not save here, I have to go. the town is almost empty. Many people are escaping now because of fighting in the army barrack. Government soldiers are fighting with Equatorians here. We don’t know why” Said Dawar Bol, a resident of Yei.
It is not clear what prompted the heavy fighting within the loyal forces, however, security situation in most parts of Greater Equatoria region has been rapidly deteriorating in the last two weeks as the Juba government attempts to silence the people of Greater Equatoria.
The three governors of Greater Equatoria, who stand with their people on federalism, a call being championed by the rebels, are reportedly managing intense relations with the government. President Salva Kiir has directly criticized the people of Greater Equatoria last Monday and warned them to stop calling for federalism, a system of governance that is seen as a threat by Salva Kiir’s home region, the Greater Bahr el Ghazal.
Although it is yet to be verified, a meeting reportedly held last Thursday by president Salva Kiir and his recently appointed Chief of Staff, Gen. Malong Awan, has produced an extensive “hit list”, which contains the names of suspected generals, mostly the Equatorain sons and daughters, who would be “closely monitored” by the government agents in an attempt to silence federalism demands in the region.
The government has also ordered the local media to refrain from publishing articles that advocate for federalism in the country. Editors in Juba are reporting media house searches and strict in-person warnings from the security officials.
“This is unbecoming; we cannot be intimidated,” Alfred Taban, deputy chairman of South Sudan’s Media Development Association, said.
“This [gag order] opens the door for a new war on media,” Taban, who is also chief editor of the Juba Monitor, a South Sudanese daily, told attendees at the Editors’ Forum, an event organized in the South Sudanese capital in reaction to the recent security directive.
Dusk to Dawn Curfew in Juba
In December, the government imposed curfews in Juba, with an attempt to impose similar curfews in Bor, Malakal and Bentiu when the conflict intensified, however, those curfews were later relaxed to between 11pm-6am. This time, the government has imposed tighter curfews from 6pm to 6am, contrarily when the peace should be returning to Juba.
The government recently distributed over 400 millions SSP to the ten states for the independent day celebration, however, the recently announced fresh curfews, road blocks and gun searches have sent shock-waves across the country. US Embassy and NGOs have warned their citizens of the deteriorating security in South Sudan and evacuated some of their staffs in the last few months.
The government has not clarify why curfews have to be imposed now, only in the capital city; however, sporadic fighting around the Central Equatoria State Governor house on Friday, in what an insider believes was an attempt to assassinate the charismatic governor, was attributed to “drunk soldiers”.
More drunk soldiers have fired gunshots around Gumbo and Gundele over the weekend as the government silences the media on publishing information related to these developments and federalism.
Updates on Central Equatoria Governor, Clement Wani Konga:
Earlier reports indicate that the CES governor has fled the country to Uganda without taking any permission from the president, however, his Deputy, who is apparently the “acting governor”, believes that governor Konga has gone to Uganda to “visit his family”.
While responding to our recent publication on the alleged assassination attempt, the government’s Information Minister Michael Makuei has reiterated that the allegation “is a mere lie, a story that is concocted”. Makuei, however, did not brief the public on the safety of governor Konga or what promoted the shooting.
The acting governor of Central Equatoria State, Manase Lomole in an interview with Gurtong, has dismissed the reports but confirms that the CES governor, Clement Wani Konga, has left the country by road to Uganda.
“I want to state categorically clear here that all that has been said in the social media is not true, that there is no assassination attempt on any of the Governors that I know and that there is no assassination attempt on my Governor, His Excellency Clement Wani Konga. All these are rumors, lies and propaganda from enemies of peace aimed at causing confusion and panic among our people,” Manase Lomole said.
Although the governor of Western Equatoria State, Joseph Bakasoro, has responded on the alleged assassination attempts on his counterpart, he couldn’t guarantee neither his own safety nor the safety of his other two counterparts but insisted that they are in “good terms” with the government. Bakosoro, however, insisted that the government should not intimidate the people of Equatoria for demanding federalism.
“We have killed each other up to this moment – let us stop plotting killing each other, let us try to discuss our issues and have amicable solution. As South Sudanese we need to love our country by telling positively about it and if there are mistakes, let us articulate in a manner that will not destroy the country.” said the WES governor, Joseph Bakasoro, who has traveled to Juba to encounter the unfortunate development.
South Sudan Security officials have reported arresting “local and foreign gangs” in connection to the shooting that displaced governor Konga from his house, however, they believe that the shooting was an attempted robbery. The officials, however, failed to address who and what was being robbed around the governor house.
The Central Equatoria governor, Clement Wani Konga, who has fled the country is yet to respond to this hastily changing security development in his state.
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