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South Sudanese inmates riot at Juba security detention facility

The National Security facility in Juba, also known as the Blue House (Radio Eye photo)
October 7, 2018 (JUBA) - Armed inmates took two guards hostage in the National Security detention facility in Juba, the "Blue House" where many political detainees and prisoners are jailed, asking for dialogue over their situation.

Conflicting reports are emerging from the South Sudanese capital about the riot, but security officials confirmed to Sudan Tribune that over one hundred prisoners stormed a weapons store in the prison and before to capture two prison guards.

The inmates who took control of the prison and some of them are on the roof of the Blue House since the early hours of Sunday morning say they have no intention to use force but they want their voice to be heard and to negotiate with the authorities over their release.

Heavily armed police forces are deployed outside the Blue House, as a security measure to prevent that some escape and to secure the area, officials say.

It is not clear what triggered the riot, as it is purportedly that the prisoners captured the arms store after rumours that the security officials obstruct their release despite the presidential order.

Prominent activist Peter Biar Ajak, who was arrested at the Juba International Airport last July, told the Voice of America said the situation was very volatile.

"Safety now is very relative, we are now in a situation where we don’t know what may happen," he said.

"What we are hoping for is that the government of South Sudan is able to resolve this and is able to negotiate to those who have taken this decision to resort to this kind of armed protest," he further added.

(ST)