JUBA, March 7 South Sudan's military said 35
people were killed in fighting at its main barracks this week
over delayed salaries, raising the toll from five, and sporadic
shooting was heard in the capital Juba on Thursday night.
The flare-up on Wednesday at Giada barracks, where clashes
December spilled over into Juba and beyond, shows the tensions
that persist in Africa's newest nation, which came close to
civil war before an often-violated Jan. 23 ceasefire.
"It (the death toll) rose from 5 to 35, that's the report I
got," Major-General Marial Chanuong told Reuters by phone.
He gave no explanation for the gunfire in Juba overnight.
The fighting in Giada involved a specialist force known as
the commandos, the military said. Peter Gatwech Gai, the head of
the commando unit was put in isolation "for his safety" after
the incident, the military said.
Malaak Ayuen, the army's director of information, said the
toll was likely to climb as more bodies are discovered.
"Some people were killed in their offices, and houses came
down on them so we started removing the stones and rubble. More
bodies were discovered yesterday," Ayuem said.
"A lot of shells, a lot of ammo and missiles were damaged.
We have asked now to be given the records of the store to know
exactly the type and quantity of the damage."
South Sudan, which gained independence from northern
neighbour Sudan in 2011, narrowly avoided civil war when troops
loyal to sacked Vice President Riek Machar rose up against the
government of President Salva Kiir.
Regional African bloc IGAD, which is mediating peace talks
in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa that have failed to take
off in earnest, may send in troops to stabilise the country.
(Reporting by Carl Odera; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by