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TRAVEL ADVISORY – Renewed Deadly Clashes and Threat of Civil War in Juba, South Sudan

  • Deadly clashes between rebel and government troops have killed more than 200, with the death toll climbing towards 300.South Sudan
  • Juba was placed on lockdown as roadblocks were constructed.
  • A spokesman for the Vice-President has told the BBC that the country is back at war.

 

Situation Summary: After months of relative peace in Juba, violent clashes between government (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement or SPLM) and rebel forces linked to Vice-President Machar (Sudan People’s Liberation Moved in Exile or SPLM-IO) have erupted in the South Sudanese capital, as the country celebrates its fifth anniversary. The most recent updates suggest that fighting has killed more than 250 people. Both leaders’ call for calm has not been heeded. The death toll is expected to rise as fighting broke out again on the morning of 10 July 2016.

 

Timeline of Events:

  • 03 July 2016 – SPLA-IO accused government forces of killing one of their soldiers at the Jebel Checkpoint. The individual was apparently abducted before being killed.
  • 07 July 2016 – Defence Minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, accused rebel forces of killing five SPLA soldiers, three military police officers, and two national security officers as their vehicle was being searched in Gudele, western Juba.
  • 08 July 2016 – Fighting erupted outside the Presidential Palace. Reports suggest that 150 were killed but this estimate is not definitive. The clashes were apparently sparked by a shootout between the security personnel of the president and vice-president who were meeting inside the building. Heavy weaponry and artillery was subsequently used across the city. The city was placed on lockdown and roadblocks were erected throughout Juba.
  • 10 July 2016 – After a 24-hour lull in violence, clashes recommenced. This time fighting occurred outside a SPLA-IO base in Jebel. The area also houses a UN compound. Fighting included the use of military vehicles and aircraft. A spokesman of the Vice-President confirmed the country is back at war.

 

Intrinsic Comment: The peace deal signed in August 2015 looks in serious jeopardy. History would suggest that situations of this type have the potential to spiral further and reopen the wounds of the civil war. While that the current round of clashes do not seem to have been directed from above; it may force the hand of respective leaders as troops have not adhered to calls for cessation of violence.

Sources: Al Jazeera link, BBC link, link, link, FCO link, Geeska link, Radio Tamazuj link, link, Reuters link

 

Travel Advice:  On 09 July 2016 the FCO office called for all British nationals to leave the country; on 10 July 2016, the US Embassy in Juba called for its citizens to do the same. This advice comes despite the government’s assurances to diplomatic missions. Travellers in Juba should be aware that some commercial airlines have cancelled Juba operations (Kenyan Airways being one).

Intrinsic are currently carrying out a number of security and medical evacuations from South Sudan – if you have any personnel stuck in country please contact us for assistance +44 (0)1202 308 81

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