Scores killed in South Sudan fighting, gunfire erupts in capital

At least 272 people have died in fighting between South Sudan’s rival factions in the capital Juba, including 33 civilians.

A government source said on Sunday that heavy gunfire erupted again in the city and many residents sought shelter at a UN base.

The fighting first broke out on Thursday and Friday between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and soldiers who support vice president Riek Machar.

The violence raised fears that South Sudan could slide back into conflict after emerging from a two-year civil war, which began in December 2013 after Kiir sacked Machar as vice president.

Neighbouring Kenya called for urgent action by the two leaders to move troops away from civilians and end the crisis.

Michael Makuei, Minister of Information, said in a broadcast that the situation had been brought under control.

“At present the situation is calm,” Mr. Makuei said.

He said the government was calling on people to go back to their homes and that the situation was under control.

On Saturday, Juba had been calm, but on Sunday a witness and residents said gunfire was heard in Gudele and Jebel suburbs of Juba, near the military barracks that hosts troops loyal to Mr. Machar.

“For about 30 to 40 minutes we heard sounds of heavy artillery in the direction of Jebel area,” an aid worker based in Juba who did not want to be named said.

(Reuters/NAN)

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