Home | News    Tuesday 26 May 2015

Juba admits new rebel group captured Mundri town on Friday

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May 24, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese army (SPLA) and state officials have admitted that a new rebel group has emerged and captured Mundri town in Western Equatoria state last Friday despite previous denials and contradictions surrounding the situation in the area.

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The South Sudanese army (SPLA) spokesperson, Phillip Aguer (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

They however said the town was recaptured on Saturday and that the South Sudanese army was in full control of the area.

Although South Sudanese army could not comment at the time on the claims, state officials immediately dismissed the rebel assertions of the capture of the town saying the situation was fully under control. They said only a group of “unknown” gunmen attacked SPLA soldiers who were trying to go to Lakes state using Maridi road.

But SPLA spokesman, Colonel Philip Aguer, has confirmed that a rebellion had emerged in Western Equatoria against president Salva Kiir’s government.
“There is a new rebel movement in Western Equatoria state. Security reported that somebody called Charles Balogore under Wesley Waluba [leads rebellion],” he told Eye Radio on Monday.

Aguer said the group initially started to organize in defence of their land against pastoralists but have now turned into a rebel movement to fight the government. He did not however say what name they had given to the new movement.

Wesley whose the army spokesman mentioned to be leading the new rebellion and fight against the government was claimed by SPLM-IO as their field commander in the area.

Aguer said the new rebel commander in the area was a former member of parliament but lost elections in 2010.

“Wesley was a former honourable member of parliament of Western Equatoria but lost election in 2010 and formed a rebellion to chase away the cattle camps from western Equatoria. Now the cattle camps are not any longer in western Equatoria and he turned against the government,” Aguer further explained.

The rebel group, he said, was using weapons allegedly from the Sudanese army, adding that the security was investing the size of the rebel group in Western Equatoria state.

MUNDRI TOWN CAPTURED

The minister of information in Western Equatoria state, Charles Kisanga, has admitted that Mundri town was actually captured on Friday by a group of armed local youth who dislodged county authorities and took full control of the town contrary to earlier denial.

The minister said the state government lost control of Mundri town on Friday and only regained control of it on Saturday when more reinforcement from the SPLA forces and police recaptured it from the youth a day after.

“After the killing of John Keliopa [executive director] on Friday morning, the youths briefly expelled government troops and took control of Mundri on Friday. The army and police forces returned and took over the town on Saturday and they are now controlling the area,” minister Kisanga explained in an interview with Radio Tamazuj.

Kisanga however said the town was captured by local fighters, known as ‘arrow boys’, and not by rebel forces led by former vice president, Riek Machar.

He said the youth were only reacting to the killing of the executive director, slightly contradicting an earlier assertion by county officials that the executive director was killed while visiting a scene of an earlier attack on SPLA soldiers in the area by “unknown” gunmen.

Minister Kisanga could not explain who attacked the SPLA forces in the first place if not the rebels or local youth.

He also dismissed a rebellion by the youth in the state, contradicting what the South Sudanese army’s spokesman confirmed to be a rebellion. Kisanga also dismissed claims that the local armed youth were now allied to the South Sudanese rebels, saying they were only protecting the area.

“They don’t belong to the rebels. Those are local youths that are making protection of their areas,” he said.

Last week, James Gatdet Dak, spokesperson of the leader of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), Riek Machar, said their fighters allied with local youth captured Mundri on Friday under direct command of Colonel Wesley Welabe and under the overall command of Major General Elias Laku Jada.

“Colonel Wesley is one of us. He commanded the operations that captured Mundri town on Friday,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

He said the opposition forces had been organizing and making recruitments in the area, saying they led in the Friday capture of Mundri town, some 200km west of the national capital, Juba.

(ST)

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  • 26 May 2015 10:30, by Mi diit

    Wonders never end in Juba. Dismissal, denial, admission, confirmation, etc.

    Are these people not ashamed of dismissing every truth the rebels announce and only to acknowledge and confirm it later? What will they gain by deceiving the public and hiding the truth from the people. Shame on liars in Juba.

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    • 26 May 2015 14:11, by Rommel

      Mi diit:

      And are you not ashamed of being a pathological liar? You know you’re a liar. We know you’re a liar, and so why do you act as though you had an air of moral authority? I have previously told you to take stock of your character, your reputation as a liar and to stop issuing statements in your usual cringingly self unaware manner.

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      • 26 May 2015 16:26, by Mi diit

        Rommel,

        And when did I lie?

        Oh, so you are not even ashamed of defending your kin for being liars?

        Look at that, they dismiss this, admit later, deny that, confirm days later, etc.

        You people are really born to lie, period!

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        • 26 May 2015 16:38, by Rommel

          Mi diit:

          You have made it abundantly clear that I really should treat you like a mental patient. You lied only around six [6] days ago when you laughably claimed that you walked 37 km in just half an hour. What I told you before is still pertinent: Like most liars you lie so much you lose track of your lies. Source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article55035

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          • 26 May 2015 16:51, by Mi diit

            Rommel,

            I checked my comment and I never said I walked 37km in 30 minutes. I said I walked 5kms in 30 minutes. So you are the liar who distorted my comment just to try to make an empty point.

            And by the way, were you not the same Rommel-liar who said he was only 23 years old in 2013?

            You will never run away from your lies and pretensions.

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          • 26 May 2015 16:59, by Rommel

            How many times must I reaffirm to you that truth is the first casualty of war and that all sides have abused the truth!? Are you mentally challenged? Tell us the truth. Please don’t be shy. If you are mentally challenged [very likely]] this would help explain why you find it so difficult to understand things that are told to you more than once.

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  • 26 May 2015 11:03, by Eastern

    Kiir must be spending sleepless nights because the numerous rebellions and defections.

    Cry the beloved country!

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    • 26 May 2015 11:49, by Rami Tot

      the urine government is at risk now imagine by the way all dinka will not make it before we reached to warrap town

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  • 26 May 2015 12:10, by Redeemer

    It is so good to say we captured but you don’t think that you are starting a new suffering of your own people. You know Warrap is hearing the displacement but your own relatives are feeling it

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    • 26 May 2015 16:29, by Mi diit

      Redeemer,

      We are aware of that. Kiir is not feeling the pain because the war is far from Warrap state. But be patient, I can assure you that time will come when Warrap will also feel the pain, and maybe greater than the way others feel it now. The war is spreading.

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  • 26 May 2015 12:18, by Redeemer

    Mr. Mi-diit
    The funny thing is Nuer failed even to capture the two Dinka counties ( Abiemnom & Panriang ) in Unity State. the war will continue at your backyard until you say Kiir has no capacity to lead as a person not Dinka

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    • 26 May 2015 13:43, by Kerem

      You are very right Redeemer. Unless Nuers admit that it is Kiir’s weakness and not the entire Muonjang, war will never end and rebels will never capture any town under control of Muonjang

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      • 26 May 2015 16:31, by Mi diit

        Redeemer and Kerem,

        Don’t pretend that Kiir is misruling without your support as Dinka community. What do you say of Jieng Council of Elders and their offspring?

        The rebels have always been talking about Kiir as bad leader, they never said all Dinkas are bad.

        So where did you get this misleading comments? Dinkas are behind Nyankiir, he is not alone.

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  • 26 May 2015 14:08, by hamil

    I don’t want to be biased here but clearly everone that I know that comes from Mundri says it is the government that orchestrated the mess in Mundri. It was the government soldiers that opened fire on the team led by the commissioner. They went from house to house and where they find a car they bomb it with an RPG.

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  • 26 May 2015 14:14, by hamil

    Nobody picked up arms against the government in Mundri but the barbarism of Salva Kiir soldiers prompted this when the soldiers started shooting rampantly inside Mundri town. The youth were angered by the bombing of their houses and looting specifically by the Dinka soldiers.

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  • 26 May 2015 14:19, by hamil

    This resulted to the mobilization by their leaders in mundri. The SPLA asked for reinforcement from Rumbek but the youth in Mvolo quickly mobilized and cleared four SPLA trucks carrying barbarick Dinka youth who were meant to come and fight in Mundri people. Most Equatorians have been reliably informed that the government is itching to ignite war with Equatorians

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  • 26 May 2015 14:25, by hamil

    Nobody Equatorian seems bothered about this we will watch the drama and all episodes but should the government start war in this region which is keeping it safe from Riek Machar? This will mark the end of this tyranic President. Some sections of South Sudanese are fond of saying Equatorians are cowards.

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  • 26 May 2015 14:31, by hamil

    However I would like to remind them that the Puff Adder is a calm snake and doesn’t strike or bite immediately but if you get it angry you will realize that it has the worst venom. We Equatorians don’t love war it is not our nature, it is not in our blood, war is not what we want to gain pride from but we have been angered enough more specially by the Dinka.

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    • 26 May 2015 14:55, by Rommel

      hamil:

      I don’t have all the facts at my disposal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this pathetic excuse of a ’government’ did in fact initiate hostilities by assassinating John Cleopa. I can understand your frustrations.

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      • 26 May 2015 15:32, by hamil

        @Rommel,

        I respect your observation as well there are no variable facts about the involment of the government however those who left Mundri and ran to Juba gave the same information about how the whole saga started. The few people I met said the fighting was due to the resistence of the local people who asked the cattle keepers to leave because their agricultural lands were being destoryed

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        • 26 May 2015 15:39, by hamil

          This demand angered some senior government officials who probably own cattle that were grazing in Mundri; they said it was the same soldiers who were meant to give security to the commissioner that opened fire at them. This is an indicator that this incident was pre-planned. If rebels groups start rising in this region it will be extremely dificult to acheive peace that all S. Sudanese yearn for

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          • 26 May 2015 18:15, by Rommel

            hamil:

            Thanks for providing me with some needed background information on the incident. This murder proves that the ’government’ has some very evil people at the helm and that they exercise a great deal of control over the armed forces. I really do hate this ’government’.

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  • 26 May 2015 14:36, by hamil

    Don’t get me wrong i don’t hate anyone or any tribe in South Sudan I am not a hate messenger but the Dinkas know they have opened gaping wounds in the hearts of Equatorians that is why not many will join the rebellion against Riek. I peronally liked Salva very much but that fondness diminished in 2012 when the land grabbing intensified and the President couldn’t say anything about it

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  • 26 May 2015 14:45, by hamil

    If the government continues this provocative moves we will all swim in blood and it will not only be Equatorians blood that will get spilled but all South Sudanese blood. My advice to Salva is to ditch that moronic JIENG COUNCIL OF ELDERS I wonder if this is a blood thirst cultic organization that is thriving and enriching its members on the blood of South Sudanese

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  • 26 May 2015 14:51, by hamil

    The president should realize that this Jieng Council of Elders is unconstitutional, they have no place in the government whatsoever they are the ones ill-advising the president to form a private army and to rule South Sudan on segregative tribal tendencies. Salva Kirr was a humble man before but got himself ruined and hated by South Sudanese because of the bad messages he gets from the Jieng elder

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    • 26 May 2015 15:03, by Rommel

      hamil:

      I don’t have all the facts at my disposal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this pathetic excuse of a ’government’ did in fact initiate hostilities by assassinating John Cleopa. I can understand your frustrations. We don’t have a ’government’ in Juba... we have a criminal syndicate masquerading as a government.

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      • 26 May 2015 15:06, by Rommel

        I think it’s well beyond dispute that that South Sudan is being afflicted by nepotism, kleptocracy, insecurity and rampant corruption, however, I take issue with people overemphasizing the tribal dimension of this tragedy. The entire country is suffering from this nepotism, corruption and mismanagement...

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        • 26 May 2015 15:09, by Rommel

          .. This is precisely why over a 100 people died of starvation in Salva Kiir’s home State in 2012. The vast majority of the Dinka do not support Salva Kiir and would be inclined to remove him as part of a genuine national movement.

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          • 26 May 2015 15:11, by Rommel

            People seem to think that the Dinka have uniquely benefited from Salva Kiir’s incompetent Presidency. South Sudan is the most oil dependent country on earth! 90% of our budget is oil derived. 85-90% of that oil is sourced from Dinka lands. Our lands contribute more to the budget than the lands of the other 63 tribes, combined. We are not benefiting from this.

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            • 26 May 2015 15:13, by Rommel

              I don’t want to mistreat anyone. In fact I think that the Dinka should leave Equatoria. I want the Dinka that have forcefully acquired and illegally occupy lands in Equatoria to be charged, jailed and forced to pay compensation to the rightful owners. I want the Dinka to be forced out of the Shilluk lands to which they have laid claim.

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              • 26 May 2015 15:18, by Rommel

                I want the Dinka to stop destroying the crops of productive agricultural communities with their marauding cattle. The Dinka should find a way to keep their cattle satiated in their own environs. I have very little sympathy for Johnson Olony, but his defection was precipitated by the gunning down of his deputy by a Dinka militia aligned to the ’government’ in Juba...

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                • 26 May 2015 15:24, by Rommel

                  .. A militia that represents Dinka communities in that part of Upper Nile State that have been encroaching on Shilluk lands and falsely laying claim to them. Instead of putting an end to these encroachments, the ’government’ has emboldened these Dinka communities by creating artificial counties like Akoka... carved out of Shilluk lands and given to the Dinka...

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                  • 26 May 2015 15:41, by Rommel

                    ..I’m a Dinka, but if I was Sovereign [President] I would immediately put an end to the encroachments by the Dinka and Nuer tribes. The ’government’ has ignored and failed to implement its own 2009 Land Act. The 2009 Land Act establishes the inviolability of tribal borders as they were in 1956...

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                    • 26 May 2015 15:57, by Rommel

                      ..This means that the Dinka must give up any claims to Malakal and the Doleib Hills in Panyikang county. The Chollo kingdom [Shilluk] should have its own State, away from the meddling and intimidation of the Dinka or any other tribe. Tribal boundaries should be contingent on 1956 borders, without exception...

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                      • 26 May 2015 15:59, by Rommel

                        ..The Anyuak should have their own State, per the 1956 border. The areas in Akobo that belong to them should be combined with Pochalla county to form a separate State. As I understand it, Akobo West is where the Nuer live... the rest of Akobo that belongs to the Anyuak per the 1956 border, should be returned to them. The Nuer must give back Anyuak land, per the 1956 border.

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                        • 26 May 2015 16:04, by Rommel

                          I want all the non-Dinka territories of Bahr el Ghazal to govern themselves. Wulu county [Jurbel] should be removed from Rumbek’s jurisdiction. The Jurbel of Wulu county deserve their own State, away from the ignorance, violence, chaos and barbarism of Lakes State. I don’t want the Dinka to dominate anyone...

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                          • 26 May 2015 16:15, by Rommel

                            .. I don’t want to be the perpetual recipient of scorn. I don’t want to be a scapegoat every time something goes awry in South Sudan. Everybody should be allowed to govern their own affairs, without fear. We should all be equal. Equality engenders the development of a pluralistic national identity, economic growth and prevents instability and suffering...

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                            • 26 May 2015 16:21, by Rommel

                              .. The Northern Bahr el Ghazal government Authorities recently made Dinka a mandatory language in all schools, without any regard for the other minority ethnic group that inhabits that State. That’s precisely how wars start after hatred has festered. The so called Jieng Council should be abolished and their members should be investigated.

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                              • 26 May 2015 16:23, by Rommel

                                I’ve often said that the Dinka should acknowledge and embrace others as equals. Our representation in the government is far too high; it should drop from its current 60% to 10% at the very most, in order that the constituent sixty-three [63] tribes of South Sudan get proper representation in government. Everybody should be heard.

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                                • 26 May 2015 16:48, by Mi diit

                                  Rommel,

                                  You are a damn liar and hypocrite. Check your comments, days, weeks, months and years back. You have been a tribal chauvinist, glorying the Dinkas as warriors, liberators, mechanical majority in South Sudan who can fight alone if united to do so. What has suddenly changed your rotten mind? Are you presenting an election empty promise, or something of this kind?

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                                  • 26 May 2015 17:03, by Rommel

                                    Mi diit:

                                    I defended my tribe from liars like you, completely consumed by atavistic hatred. The Dinka were being called cowards by people who fought for Khartoum, despite the fact that the Dinka provided the most divisions, battalions and martyrs. We lost over a million people fighting Khartoum. I will not allow bitter Nuer idiots to trivialize that sacrifice.

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                                    • 26 May 2015 18:08, by Rommel

                                      Notice how I have NEVER attacked any tribe except for the Nuer. You are the only people that I have problems with. My comments are always in response to Nuer discussants [like you] that routinely lie and distort the truth. I have humbled Nuer chauvinists and disabused them of their delusions. I will continue to do this.

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                          • 26 May 2015 22:10, by Mohamed

                            Rommel,
                            You are only creating more separation by defining South Sudans borders along tribal lines. this is wrong, it is the reason why Sudan initially split into 2 countries.
                            Would be a pity to see South Sudan divide into tribal states .
                            I suggest you avoid this way.

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                            • 27 May 2015 05:30, by Rommel

                              Mohamed:

                              I am not ’creating’ any kind of ’separation’. Each tribe in Greater Sudan [North & South] has its own tribal territories — its own Dar... and they were mapped out during the Condominium, with the 1956 boundaries being recognized in the 2009 Lands Act. Large tribes like the Dinka and Nuer are claiming the lands of smaller tribes, and this has to stop. That’s all I’m saying.

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    • 26 May 2015 15:23, by denng

      Hamil, lets drop the ’I’m not biased’ business. you have failed to distinguish between SPLA(official army) and dinka.the government has failed in many fronts if not all. this is not the country we fought for but the blame should he put on the government not the dinka. we collectively have no agenda to fight the nuer leave alone equatorians...

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      • 26 May 2015 15:29, by denng

        ...wars are easy to start but peace is not. so enough with this propaganda you’re spreading. we should focus our frustration on achievable political solutions. the army has killed countless civilians in Rumbek and we are not calling for war. I would rather split s sudan into different countries than have another war.

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    • 26 May 2015 17:32, by Force 1

      Hamil;
      You may not be a hater but almost all of your people hate Dinka. Think Dinka have no place in Equatoria which is a ball-headed thinking. Dinka is going to be anywhere they wished to be in South Sudan whether or not anyone like it. Blood and bones of Dinka are everywhere in Equatoria and for that they have every right to stay there even if it means using iron-fist to stay!

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      • 26 May 2015 17:53, by Rommel

        Force 1:

        That’s the kind of mindset and rhetoric that creates, discord, hatred and ultimately, war. We [Dinka] should leave Equatoria and build up our own areas.

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        • 26 May 2015 19:45, by Force 1

          Rommel;
          You need to speak for yourself!

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          • 26 May 2015 19:58, by Force 1

            who said Dinka are not there at their home building their own places?! Where were you to tell Dinka to fight only at their own homes regions during the liberation and leave Equatorians to fight in their own home alone? Did you read South Sudan constitution about citizen land ownership? You need to tell us where its says Dinka should leave Equatoria and stays at their home regions!

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