Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Sounds of war rattle South Sudan capital

05 March 2014, 21:02

Juba - The sounds of war rattled the capital of South Sudan on Wednesday after violence broke out inside the military over a pay dispute, and five soldiers were killed, officials said.

Truckloads of soldiers were moved into Juba after the fighting began around 09:00, an eerie reminder of the inter-military fighting that broke out in the same barracks in December that eventually pushed the country into its current state of near-civil war.

A spokesperson for the South Sudan military, Brigadier General Malaak Ayuen, said soldiers who had not been paid recently went to a commander to demand their salary. The dispute escalated and five troops were killed and several wounded, Ayuen said. "Many" soldiers have been arrested, he said.

"This is purely an issue of salaries. It is not political and will not spread," Ayuen said. "Soldiers have not been paid since January, why I don't know, and went to the commander seeking answers."

Ayuen said that the sounds of large booms that rattled the city were the result of a weapons depot being set on fire. A large cloud of black smoke rose above Juba. Soldiers were quickly ferried around the city on the backs of truck and shops closed out of fear.

The city remains tense from when massive violence broke out in mid-December after a dispute among the presidential guards.

That dispute soon pitted backers of the president against the former vice president, who now commands the loyalty of a large number of rebel troops who control significant parts of the country. Thousands of people have died and hundreds of thousands pushed out of their homes in the nearly three months of violence.

While Ayuen said that Wednesday's dispute was not political, he alluded to lingering feelings of mistrust among the country's many ethnic groups inside the military.

"The soldiers are not happy with the way the government has handled the situation. They have been told to forgive and welcome soldiers that have killed their colleagues only a couple months ago. Now they are back among their ranks. It is too early to forget this," Ayuen said.


Rebel forces appeared ready to take advantage of the mayhem. An opposition leader taking part in negotiations in Ethiopia said that mutineers in the army had pledged their allegiance to the former vice president, Riek Machar.

Meanwhile, the regional bloc of countries known as Igad said it hopes to deploy a protection and stabilization force in South Sudan.

Seyoum Mesfin, who is leading South Sudan peace talks for Igad, said on Wednesday that envoys are consulting with regional leaders, the African Union, the UN and other partners about the proposed force, and a meeting is expected in two weeks to discuss it.

Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi have expressed interest in sending troops to South Sudan, Seyoum said.

The proposed force would be small and cost effective but would have a big deterrent role, he said, adding that the African Union and UN need to approve the deployment.

One aim of the deployment would be to deny any foreign interventions, he said. Already Uganda has troops inside South Sudan in support of the Juba government, raising regional concerns. The US has said it wants Uganda to withdraw from South Sudan.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
William Korir
Kikuyu 2022 vote will go to Peter...

The 2022 Kikuyu vote will go to Peter Kenneth, a Rift Valley Governor has warned DP William Ruto. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
CORD threatens to boycott 2017 po...

The CORD Coalition says that it will be forced to boycott the 2017 elections if there is no new voter register in place by the time. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Disgraced Jeptoo stripped of 2014...

Organizers of the Boston Marathon are stripping Kenyan runner Rita Jeptoo of her 2014 victory as part of the athlete's newly extended doping ban. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM beats Jubilee in 3 by-electio...

ODM dominates Jubilee Party in by elections.

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Kenyan ivory seized in Vietnam

Vietnamese authorities have seized 1 tonne of ivory smuggled from Kenya, the fifth such seizure in the past month. Read more...

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...