South Sudan boat sinking toll rises to 40

2012-09-17 21:07

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Juba - South Sudan's military on Monday raised to as many as 40 the death toll from a "friendly fire" incident last week in which it sank one of its own river boats at night.

"The final death toll is between 37 and 40" from the incident last Wednesday in which the army fired at the boat transporting soldiers on the River Nile, military spokesperson Philip Aguer told AFP.

Tensions remain high around border areas with Sudan, South Sudan's former civil war foe, and the boat was mistaken for an enemy craft in an area where rebel groups, which the South claims are backed by Khartoum, operate.

Aguer said the army had launched an investigation into the "unfortunate accident" involving a boat that was carrying around 170 soldiers from Melut toward Malakal, in South Sudan's Upper Nile state.

He said the ship's crew had not communicated clearly with South Sudan's army, the SPLA, about its movements.

"The boat left late, there was no information passed to the [river] station ahead, and the SPLA have orders not to travel after 18:00, and to pull in at the nearest station to wait for daylight", he said.

"The commander of the force made a big mistake," Aguer said, adding that he was among those killed.

Aguer said soldiers onshore fired warning shots when the boat failed to stop at a river checkpoint in Lul, and that troops onboard returned fire.

"People in Lul were suspicious and when they fired a warning shot, they [the troops aboard the vessel] fired back," he said.

"Those at the station fired an RPG [rocket propelled grenade] and then things on the boat got very bad" as the vessel tilted and sank, he said.

"Most of the dead bodies are from the drowning, not bullets", he said of the 27 bodies pulled from the water, with at least 10 more presumed dead.

"Just like any other army in the world, we are taking this matter very seriously and investigating," Aguer said. "This is a serious mistake."

Read more on:    spla  |  south sudan  |  east africa  |  maritime accident
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.