United States, December 16, 2013 (SSNA) — On Sunday November 15, 2013, around 9:00 PM Juba local time, gunfire erupted in the capital around Jebel Military barrack, sending the local residents in a state of panic. In an effort to gather information on the incident, the SPLM-USA information department spent the night trying to contact, before network interruption, the SPLM National secretariat, as well as other sources in the country in search for clues on the incident so as to brief our members. However, this effort was unsuccessful due to the time of the day in Juba coupled with the continuous guns battle that dominated the night. This process of collecting information continued this morning as we tried to confirm several media reports of a foiled coup attempt. To this minute, we have been unable to corroborate these reports to ours and the satisfaction of our members, and there is no official statement from the SPLM National Secretariat of External Relations in Juba.
To this end and based on various media reports and analysts observations on the ground, it appeared the incident started within the Tiger battalion, also known as the Presidential guards, in their Jebel barracks. Elements loyal to one of the SPLM groups, which is opposing the government, acting on rumors and suspicions of arrest warrants for the members of this SPLM group and apparently on their own accord, refused orders from their superiors. This resulted in the infighting amongst the guards and later escalated to the nearby Bilpam barracks, bringing us where we are.
As the result of this and while we monitor the situation, we want to urge our members to exercise maximum restraint and calm with the understanding that this is a political, not tribal, issue and that a political, rather than military, solution is the only way forward for SPLM and the country. We are also calling on our leaders to unite the SPLM and reverse the dangerous direction our country is heading.
God bless the Republic of South Sudan