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S. Sudan army floods the streets of Juba after taking control of rebel HQ

S. Sudan army floods the streets of Juba after taking control of rebel HQ

South Sudan

South Sudan’s government army has flooded the streets of Juba since it took control of the headquarters of the Riek Machar-led opposition forces in Kodok in the Upper Nile state after three days of fighting.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) said on Friday that it will continue to patrol the streets of the capital until rumours of coup allegations end, local media Sudan Tribune reported.

“The South Sudan Liberation Army (SPLA) forces and other organised security forces will not pull out from the streets until the roots of the coup allegation are stemmed from the source,” army spokesperson Colonel Santo Domic told the media.

There are rumours going round that President Salva Kiir is stepping down for the military to take over.

Colonel Domic described the rumours as a deliberate and calculated campaign “aimed at misleading the public and causing disaffection between the people and the troops.”

He maintained that the army had been deployed to protect civilians and property.

The army took control of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In-Opposition’s (SPLM-IO) headquarters in Kodok in the Upper Nile state on Wednesday after three days of fighting that displaced 25,000 civilians.

Colonel Santo Domic told the media that they took over the town after reports of starvation by civilians which was blamed on the government accused of denying humanitarian access.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) confirmed the number of displaced civilians in a statement on Thursday, adding that the intense fighting had forced humanitarian organisations to suspend their activities in the town.

“Without protection, many will have little other alternative than to leave for camps in Sudan where they can find refuge. With the rainy season approaching, it seems likely that the flow of people leaving for Sudan will increase as they avoid being trapped in the area,” said MSF’s head of mission for South Sudan, Marcus Bachmann.

South Sudan descended into civil war in 2013 after President Salva Kiir fired Machar as his deputy, unleashing a conflict that has spawned armed factions often following ethnic lines.

The United Nations has warned of a possible genocide as millions have fled their homes and crop harvests are devastated because of the worst drought in years with millions facing famine.

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