2016 Juba clashes

2016 Juba clashes
Part of the South Sudanese Civil War
Casualty of 2016 Juba clashes.png
A civilian casualty of the Juba clashes is carried to a makeshift grave.
Date7–11 July 2016
Result Ceasefire declared on 11 July 2016[1]
Soldiers loyal to Riek Machar (SPLM-IO) Soldiers loyal to Salva Kiir
Casualties and losses
300 killed (33 civilians, 2 Chinese U.N. peacekeepers)[2][3][4]

The 2016 Juba clashes were a series of clashes in Juba between rival factions of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) loyal to President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar respectively.


In August 2015, both sides signed a peace agreement to end the South Sudanese Civil War. Machar was later reappointed as Vice-President in April 2016.[5]


3 July[]

A soldier loyal to Machar, Lt.Colonel George Gismala was killed by government security personnel. The killing led to a rise in tensions within some security forces in Juba. [6]

7 July[]

Soldiers loyal to Machar were attacked at a government checkpoint.[7] The incident left 5 government soldiers dead and 2 soldiers of unspecified affiliation injured.[8][9]

8 July[]

Fighting started near the state house where peace talks between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar were being held.[10] The initial engagement was between the bodyguards of Kiir and Machar.[11] There were also clashes near the army barracks. Shooting occurred outside a UN base,[12] where one death was reported.[13] After the clashes, there was a heavy military presence in Juba.[10] Fighting on 8 July left 35 SPLM-IO soldiers and 80 government soldiers dead.[10]

10 July[]

After a day of relative calmness, combat broke out again in Juba. Fighting was concentrated in Jebel and Gudele, where rebel bases are located, as well as in a UN base.[14] Loud explosions and gunfire were also heard near the airport.[15] A Chinese UN peacekeeper was killed, and 2 more were critically wounded.[16] In Jebel, rebel camps were bombed by government helicopters.[17] The fighting ended when a thunderstorm began.[17]

272 people, including 33 civilians, were killed during the fighting on 8 July.[3]

11 July[]

Fighting resumed in Juba.[18] Gudele and Jebel remained hotspots of violence. Explosions hit Tomping, where the airport, embassies, and a UN base are located.[19] Mortars were heard in the downtown area.[20] The UN confirmed that 2 Chinese peacekeepers were killed and 8 others were wounded on 10 July.[21] 8 people in a UN refugee camp were killed and 67 were injured from gunfire.[22][23] A ceasefire was announced;[1] however, reports of gunfire continued.[24] By the morning of 12 July, it appeared that the ceasefire was holding.[25]

Approximately 50 to 100 soldiers looted the Terrain Hotel, where they proceeded to murder journalist John Gatluak and rape five women.[26] 10 soldiers were sentenced to jail for the crimes in August 2018.[26]


Overall 300 people were killed in the fighting,[2] including at least 33 civilians[3] and 2 Chinese U.N. peacekeepers.[4] 11 Ugandans were also among the dead.[27]

Approximately 36,000 civilians fled parts of the city due to the clashes.[28] Many stores had been looted during the conflict.[29]

There were around 600 Indians in South Sudan; around 450 in Juba and others elsewhere in the country at the time of conflict. Two C-17 Globemasters of the Indian Air Force were deployed to evacuate Indians and other foreign nationals. The first flight left Juba on 15 July (South Sudan Time) carrying 143 individuals including 10 women and 3 infants. It landed in Kerala on 16 July. The operation was codenamed Operation Sankat Mochan (lit. Saviour).[30]


Both Kiir and Machar have condemned the clashes.[10] They have repeatedly called for their forces to stop fighting; Kiir and Machar called for a ceasefire on 11 July.[24]

United Nations Ban Ki-Moon: "I am shocked and appalled by the heavy fighting that is currently taking place in Juba. I strongly urge President Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar to do everything within their power to de-escalate the hostilities immediately and to order their respective forces to disengage and withdraw to their bases. This senseless violence is unacceptable and has the potential of reversing the progress made so far in the peace process..."[17][31]

United Nations The UNSC, after an emergency meeting on the crisis,[9] issued a statement calling for an immediate cessation to the fighting and for both Kiir and Machar to do their utmost to control their respective forces.[32] The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has increased patrols near its base.[33]

National reactions[]

 Sudan condemned the conflict, and the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir urged Kiir and Machar in telephone calls to use self-restraint.[34]

United States The United States condemned the violence and called for the parties to "immediately restrain their forces from further fighting, return them to barracks, and prevent additional violence and bloodshed."[35][36]


  1. ^ a b "South Sudan's warring factions declare ceasefire". Al Jazeera. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b At least 300 killed in latest South Sudan violence: UN
  3. ^ a b c "South Sudan on verge of civil war, death toll rises". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b Violence in South Sudan Kills Two Chinese U.N. Peacekeepers
  5. ^ "South Sudan rebel chief Riek Machar sworn in as vice-president". BBC. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Shooting of military officer in Juba | Radio Tamazuj". Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  7. ^ "South Sudan: Heavy gunfire following death of soldiers". BBC. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  8. ^ "South Sudan leaders appeal for calm after clashes in Juba". Xinhua. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  9. ^ a b Fortin, Jacey; Kron, Josh (2016-07-10). "New Wave of Violence Ripples Through South Sudan's Capital". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  10. ^ a b c d Dumo, Denis; Biryabarema, Elias (9 July 2016). "At least 115 soldiers killed in South Sudan clashes: opposition". Reuters. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  11. ^ "At least 150 soldiers killed as South Sudan marks fifth independence anniversary". ABC. 9 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  12. ^ "South Sudan: 'Scores dead' on independence anniversary". Al Jazeera. 9 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  13. ^ "S.Sudan clashes kill over 150 soldiers". Gulf Today. 9 July 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Renewed fighting breaks out across South Sudan capital". CTV. 10 July 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  15. ^ "South Sudan fighting: Gunfire erupts again in Juba". Al Jazeera. 10 July 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  16. ^ Dumo, Denis (10 July 2016). "Renewed fighting erupts in South Sudan as fears of civil war mount". Reuters. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "South Sudan fears return to civil war as heavy fighting erupts anew in Juba, thousands flee". Japan Times. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  18. ^ "South Sudan: Clashes erupt in Juba hours after UN plea". BBC. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Explosions and heavy weapons gunfire shook South Sudan's capital, Juba, Monday in the fifth day of clashes between government and opposition forces, raising the spectre of a return to civil war". France 24. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  20. ^ "South Sudan crisis: Renewed fighting in Juba". Al Jazeera. 11 July 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  21. ^ "Two Chinese UN peacekeepers killed in South Sudan capital fighting". Xinhua. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  22. ^ Thompson, Carolyn (11 July 2016). "'A tent cannot stop a bullet': 8 killed and dozens injured at UN camp in South Sudan". CBC. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  23. ^ Burke, Jason (12 July 2016). "South Sudan's situation 'dire and deteriorating' as fighting in Juba rages". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  24. ^ a b "South Sudan clashes: Salva Kiir and Riek Machar order ceasefire". BBC. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  25. ^ "South Sudan ceasefire declared by Kiir and Machar holding". BBC. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  26. ^ a b Dumo, Denis. MacSwan, Angus; Kasolowsky, Raissa (eds.). "South Sudan soldiers sentenced to jail for murder, rape in 2016 hotel raid". Reuters.
  27. ^ [2 Chinese U.N. peacekeepers Government says 11 Ugandans killed in recent South Sudan clashes]
  28. ^ "Civil war fears as heavy arms fire rocks South Sudan capital,". Belfast Telegraph. Associated Press. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  29. ^ Justin, Tito (12 July 2016). "Shaky S. Sudan Truce Holds as Juba Residents Find Looted Markets". Voice of America. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  30. ^ "Sankat Mochan: First aircraft with evacuated people from Juba to land in Kerala tomorrow". The Indian Express. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  31. ^ "Statement by the Secretary-General on South Sudan". UN. 10 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  32. ^ "Security Council condemns fighting in Juba, demands South Sudan's leaders prevent spread of violence". UN News Centre. 10 July 2016.
  33. ^ Burke, Jason (2016-07-11). "More than 300 dead as South Sudan capital is rocked by violence". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  34. ^ "Khartoum expresses deep concern over conflicts in S. Sudan". Xinhua. 10 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  35. ^ "US demands an immediate end to South Sudan violence". Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  36. ^ "South Sudan: United States Demands an Immediate End to Fighting in South Sudan". Retrieved 2016-07-11.

Coordinates: 4°51′00″N 31°36′00″E / 4.8500°N 31.6000°E / 4.8500; 31.6000