Special Reports

S. Sudan Crisis Deepens As Uganda Shuts Border

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side effects http://coaltrailresidences.com/components/com_k2/views/latest/tmpl/latest_item.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>UPDF spokesperson, about it http://contemporarydancevideos.com/wp-content/themes/videozoom/functions/user/functions.php Lt Col Paddy Ankunda told Chimpreports in an exclusive interview on Tuesday morning that “the Uganda armed forces have been put on standby to grab any wrong characters who might want to take advantage of the chaos and wreak havoc on our people.”


He further revealed the Uganda-South Sudan border had been “temporarily closed” in the wake of clashes within the two year-old nation’s Presidential Guard Brigade.


He also described as “rumor mongering,” reports that President Museveni had ordered Special Forces to reinforce Salva Kiir’s troops as he battles mutineers in the new country’s army.


Uganda Special Forces Group (SFG) spokesperson, Chris Magezi said the armed forces are “monitoring closely” the unfolding events in the neighbouring country.


The border with South Sudan is reportedly being patrolled and inspected by over 2,000 elite forces under the supervision of Col Kanyesigye, the 4th Division Commander.


The fighting started on Sunday evening following a quarrel between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President, Riek Machar during the National Liberation Council meeting in Juba.


Kiir reportedly accused Machar of being a traitor “who at one time deserted his country in 1991 to join the enemy in the North (President Omar Bashir).”


Kiir further told Machar that he was a coward. “I have never abandoned the cause of my country. We did not run away from the challenges that faced our country unlike you Machar,” Kiir reportedly told off his former deputy in what was seen as an escalation of a power struggle ahead of the 2015 presidential elections.


Kiir told journalists on Monday that at about 6:30pm, during the closing of the SPLM National Liberation Council meeting on Sunday, an identified person near Nyokorum Cultural Centre released gunshots in the air and escaped.


This was followed later by an attack at the SPLA headquarters near Juba University by a group of soldiers allied to Former Vice President Dr Riek Machar Teny and his group.


“These attacks continued until this morning. However, I would like to inform you at the onset that your government is in full control of the security situation in Juba.”


Latest developments


By 8:00am on Tuesday, Juba residents had heard two loud explosions in the city as members of Tiger Special Force pursued fighters loyal to Riek Machar.


The United Nations compound is currently hosting dozens of South Sudanese who sought shelter there on Monday afternoon.


The first day of the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed on the country by Kiir on Monday ended today at 6:00am.


The cell service is on and off, with embassies of western countries preferring to use social media platforms to reach out to their citizens.


There have been reports of mass killings of civilians by the army especially in the Bilpam area but this information could not be confirmed by today morning.


Unconfirmed reports also indicated that senior politicians and former security officials who were part of the plot to topple Gen Kiir have been arrested and detaining at military facilities.


The intense fighting amid a coup attempt forced some non-governmental organisations including the Israeli aid group, IsraAid, to suspend its operations in the country and go on lockdown.


IsraAid members reported artillery and automatic weapons fire in their vicinity.


Ophelie Namiech, IsraAid’s regional director for East and Central Africa, said the group’s operations would be suspended until stability was restored to Juba.


“I have been living in Juba for the past two years. I got to know the people of South Sudan, and their determination to reach peace and stability,” Namiech wrote in an email sent to supporters.


“For the first time, I see people being scared for their lives, praying and hoping to find ways of survival.”


IsraAid runs programs in Juba focused on gender, social development and security sector reform.


South Sudan and Israel have some defense and trade ties, and many South Sudanese are pro-Israel.


It is believed that Uganda, Israel and United States are likely to covertly throw their weight behind Gen Kiir as he has been a strong ally in fighting the Sudan-sponsored terrorism activities in the region.


At around midnight, residents of Juba heard heavy, automatic weapons fire and explosions near military facilities as thousands of heavily armed troops patrolled the streets.


Sources said the situation remains tense as Kiir’s forces battle the remaining pockets of resistance in the latest crisis to push the country over the edge.

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