Kiir, Machar Order Ceasefire in Juba Top story

1518 Views Juba, South Sudan

In short
South Sudan President Salva Kiir issued a statement through the national broadcaster SSTV directing all commanders of the forces to cease any hostility, control their forces, and protect civilian population and their property. His Deputy Riek Machar said he would reciprocate.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and first vice president Riek Machar have each ordered a ceasefire after nearly five days of clashes left hundreds dead and thousands displaced in the capital Juba.

The order was meant to take effect at 6pm on Monday. However, local media reports that heavy shooting was still heard in Gudele between 7:30pm and just after 8pm. Sporadic firing continued after that.

In a statement issued through the national broadcaster SSTV, Information minister Michael Makuei said that "all the commanders of the forces were directed to cease any hostility and abide by the order, control their forces, and protect civilian population and their property.

"All commanders of are directed to control their forces and ensure protection of any ethnic group that may be targeted by some elements within their forces and any SPLA-IO who surrenders to the SPLA must be protected," the order continued.

Commanders deployed at checkpoints within Juba city, were also instructed to reduce and limit such checkpoints to only essential and important installations and institutions.

Makuei said regular forces that were deployed for any reasons also needed to go back to their respective units adding that any soldier or any member of the regular forces that will be found loitering about with his rifle without reporting to his unit will be arrested.

Meanwhile, Riek Machar, speaking to South Sudan's Eye Radio, refused to give details of his location but maintained that he was within Juba. This comes after his sites were bombed by Kiir's helicopter gunships and his troops dislodged from their camp near Jebel.

"The president has declared unilateral ceasefire. I want to reciprocate the declaration of unilateral ceasefire from 8 o'clock and I am informing all the troops that have been fighting, defending themselves, to respect this ceasefire and to remain where they are now," he said.

Machar said the rest of the details of the ceasefire will be taken care of but he has already spoken to his commanders about the ceasefire and they are informing their forces.

The opposition leader described reports that he lost control of his forces as "rubbish."

"We are not responsible for the starting of the fighting in Juba. We are not even responsible for the other attacks," he said.