National, News

Gunshots frighten Gudele residents

By Bida Elly David

Residents of Juba’s Gudele 1 and 2 were shocked and frightened by heavy gunfire that could be heard at the far Western ends of the city.

Terrifying sounds of heavy artillery emerged from Joppa area, with some smoke hovering up the sky.

Majority of parents were rushing to pick their children up from schools at an early time due to fears of unpredictable insecurity situation.

The rocking gunshots left businesses in Kubri Haboba market in Gudele two paralyzed with the owners harrying to shut down shops in a bid to rescue families and protect their goods.

However, Pitiya Lodu, a retailer at Kubri Haboba Market who spoke to this outlet, presumed the gunfire might be a battle between cattle raiders and government forces.

But he was also puzzled as there has never been any intercommunal fight executed with heavy artillery in any part of Juba.

“What happened was strange!” he exclaimed.

For Pitia, nothing of the kind has ever happened in the city outskirts before.

“I live in Luri and witness conflict among the herders, but it has never reached the extent of using PKMs and other machines. That should be the government chasing cattle herders,” he said.

Kitale Na Mori, a mother of two school-going children and a resident of Joppa who was on her heels, dashing to get her kids back home, said the lives of her children matter more than education.

“These heavy shootings have no future. I have to bring my children home since children run at random when such incidences happen, thus losing many lives,” Kitale hastily told this outlet.

Meanwhile, when contacted about the shooting, the national police spokesperson, Brig. Gen. James Dak Karlo, acknowledged that there were gunshots in direction of Gudele, but didn’t have details of what exactly happened.

“We heard there is a shooting, but we are not able to get the details, so we are making contacts so that we know exactly what is wrong,” Dak told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday.

Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai, the spokesperson of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), also told this outlet that he heard of the shootings but lacked details at the time of the phone interview.

“I have been trying to find out, but nobody told me.” Gen. Ruai said, “I am still in touch with the relevant departments from the national headquarters.”

“From my side, up until now, I have not gotten any accurate information on why there was a shooting,” the SSPDF spokesperson said at the time of the call.

The duo of security personnel, however, promised that more details concerning the incident would be disseminated as soon as further investigations were carried out.

Until the time of publication, no detailed report had been established on the shooting.

In the recent past week, there were reports of serious gun battles among the Mundri cattle herders community, where scores were reported dead.

Recently, a brutal fight broke out among cattle herders and government forces in Luri Payam, leaving several people dead and 35 individuals missing.

The police spokesperson also said they were searching for the 35 missing individuals who were caught in the inter-communal clashes.

According to police government forces were attacked by some armed group believed to be from the Mundari community.

The military was deployed to calm down inter-communal tension in the area.



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