Juba, January 4, 2014 (SSNA) — Heavy fighting erupted in Juba…the clash appears to have occurred in Gida, the General Headquarters of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
Rapid bursts of gunfire were also heard around areas where most government buildings and presidential palace are located.
The cause of the fighting is yet to be determined.
There are some doubts as to what ignited the fighting. But, source close the SPLA told the South Sudan News Agency that the fighting was a result of an assassination attempt on at least one SPLA commander loyal to president kiir.
The source went in length, accusing the rebels of carrying out the attack. The SSNA is unable to independently verify the claim.
Attempts to try to get the rebels’ reaction about the allegation went unanswered.
Another government source dimissed the fighting as ‘minor issue’ instigated by "drunk soliders". The source did not provide specifics.
Meanwhile, some Juba’s residents who spoke to the SSNA believed that the fighting appears more like defections inside the SPLA headquarters.
Peace talks are currently under way in Ethiopia. The Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Friday that direct talks between the two warring factions are likely to begin this weekend.
Deep political differences between senior members of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party went unresolved in the December 14 meeting of the National Liberation Council (NLC). In that meeting, the senior colleagues who do not like Kiir’s leadership style pulled out of the meeting and called the process as "undemocratic", drawing a fury from the SPLM Chairman and his allies.
On the 15th of December 2013, fighting erupted at about 10:00pm, between different units of presidential guards.
At least 1,000 people have been killed and many more are still missing.