JUBA (HAN) July 11.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. Authorities at South Sudanese Ministry of Health have warned that the death toll from Friday’s fighting in Juba could rise as over 270 lives have already been lost.
- The ministry, in a statement issued on Sunday which was also confirmed by Juba Teaching hospital, said up to 32 dead bodies were identified by relatives
Government spokesperson, who also doubles as minister of information, Michael Makuei Lueth, confirmed the figures, but could not say which side was badly affected.
Officials from both sides have given out to the media conflicting accounts, with each side giving less casualty figures so as not to frustrate their fighters involved in a deadly clashes which begun on Thursday before extending to presidential palace on Friday, resulting in the death of hundreds and destruction of properties.
The statement gives a break down showing 44 government soldiers, 5 Police and 190 fighters allegedly believed to be SPLA-IO soldiers, given their distinctive military uniforms, have died during the clashes which broke out the presidential palace on Friday.
It further added that 34 government soldiers and 10 civilians caught in the cross fire and five police officers were being treated for their injuries at Juba Teaching hospital.
Juba Military Hospital, the statement noted, was also treating 15 other civilians and two at Peace Hospital, a private Chinese health facility in Juba.However, those with critical wounds and whose family members, relatives and friends could afford an expensive hospital bills were taken to Juba complex and other private practices in Juba town.
Authorities said more information would be availed with time, but regretted the loss of lives.
“Health professionals are doing their best to ensure lives are saved and minimize the suffering,” it noted, adding “The death toll is expected to rise as these are preliminary figure”.