Home | News    Sunday 2 February 2014

Leer residents forced to flee alleged army offensive in Unity state


February 1, 2014 (KAMPALA) - Thousands of displaced people were forced to flee Leer county in Unity state on Saturday due to an alleged attack by government forces on positions of the SPLM/A in Opposition - a group of defected soldiers and armed civilians who have been fighting the army since mid-December.

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A Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldier, who was wounded in renewed fighting, arrives for medical attention at a clinic in the IDP camp in Minkamen, Awerial January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Adriane Ohanesian)

Under a ceasefire deal signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 23 January the warring parties agreed not to move their forces from their current positions. Since then, however, both sides have been accused of violating the deal.

Treason charges slapped against the SPLM/A in Opposition leadership, including former Vice President Riek Machar, have cast doubt on the viability of the fragile ceasefire, according to analysts.

A large section of the army in Unity state defected on 21 December last year assuming control of most of the state, following a similar mutiny in Jonglei. Both incidences appeared to have been triggered by the fighting in the capital, Juba between soldiers from the Presidential Guards.

Tang Both, a resident from Leer who said he was forced to run into the bush due to the army’s advancement, told Sudan Tribune on Saturday by satellite phone that many women and children were currently taking refuge in the bush after the town came under heavy bombardment.

"As am talking now we are on run, because this morning our area went under fire from government soldiers. We were forced out" he said, adding that "many children and women have died while trying to cross river [...] for safety."

Both claimed he saw two women and four children drown while trying to make it across the river.

Over 50,000 people left their homes in Bentiu town when it was retaken by the SPLA on 10 January, many of whom walked the 130-kilometers to Leer county.

The head of mission for Médecins Sans Frontières in South Sudan, Raphael Gorgeu, told the BBC on Saturday that 240 members of their staff have been forced to flee to the bush as the insecurity continued to spread.

MSF’s hospital in Leer has received thousands of patients since fighting started.

The spokesperson for the SPLM/A in Opposition in Unity state, Peter Riek Gew, said that rebels had withdrawn from Leer after they were attacked by government troops because of the "massive population" in the area.

"We have not responded in fighting them back because we care for the lives of hundreds of population that we allow them peaceful to take control of the town", the rebel spokesperson said.

The South Sudan army, however, denied the rebels claims insisting it remains committed to the ceasefire agreement signed in Ethiopia last week.

"We remain committed to the cessation of hostilities agreement signed by both parties under IGAD mediation. I don’t think what they [rebels] are claiming is true," said Phillip Aguer, the SPLA spokesperson.

Many patients have run to the bush despite the government claiming control of the town. Some residents say there are fears civilians will be targeted on the basis of their ethnicity.

The conflict started as a power struggle within the ruling party, but some of the fighting has been along tribal lines with both sides being accused of abuses.

East African ceasefire monitors are being sent to South Sudan over the weekend to observe whether the deal signed in Ethiopia under mediation from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), was in force.

Negotiations between South Sudan’s warring parties are due to resume on 7 February.


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  • 2 February 2014 07:15, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Peter Gadet Yak is there in Leer, let SPLA capture him whether he is alives or dead, SPLA must be brought to Kuol Manyang the defence minister.

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    • 3 February 2014 04:21, by Johndumo14

      These 2 SPLA generals,Peter Gadet Yak and Maj.Gen.JamesKoang Chuol,defected to Join rebels supporting Riek because they are from Nuer tribe,this is a clear picture chowing that Nuer people can never be leaders of this country!This is abuse of powers,damage of government properties,Pres.kirr trusted them an gave them responsibilies,but they used it for supporting riek.They will never be trusted

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    • 3 February 2014 04:42, by Johndumo14

      But south Sudan president Salva Kiir made a very big mistake!! He promoted the Nuer generals Peter Gadet Yak and Maj.Gen.James Koang Chuol,at the wrong time and at the wrong place.How can you employ a thief to work in the bank? Or to employ a criminal to be a minister of Justice? By promoting Nuermen to high position,is like playing with fire!!!

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    • 3 February 2014 06:09, by Tong dut

      Kill as you can since Dinka Kirr show you in Juba, Bor and Bentue.Do yous too, let them knows you are men like them.

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    • 3 February 2014 17:26, by Johndumo14

      There are over 60 tribes in south sudan,but the Nuer think that they are worrior and the other tribes are cowards,Dr Riek Machar and his Nuer generals rebelled against the government,without knowing the BACK FIRE!!
      Look now who is the looser? Even if he comes back to join the government,people have no trust in him even the Nuer civilians,he has betrayed the Nuer people in long run!!!

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  • 2 February 2014 07:16, by thomas

    "We remain committed to the cessation of hostilities agreement signed by both parties under IGAD mediation. I don’t think what they [rebels] are claiming is true," said Phillip Aguer, the SPLA spokesperson.
    You’re clearly not. Are the civilians in Leer lying also?

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    • 2 February 2014 07:35, by Chol A.

      @thamas of course residents of leer are liers because they collaborated with rebels so no attack made by SpLa against them. The rebels are drawing attending in order to gain credit from international bodies while they are one attacking Spla forces in jonglei state, unity state and Warrap yesterday and today.

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    • 2 February 2014 07:36, by michael coma

      Hahahahahaha,it was Warrap now is Leer county where mr.Riek hails from.Lets see who will surrendered between Kiir and Riek.The war has reached Riek’s relatives and Kiir relatives.Pres.Kiir will grabe Riek’s neck soon as posible.

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    • 2 February 2014 07:43, by Tut Tut

      Leer is a county of Dr. Riek and capturing it is intended to finish him by extension that his close relatives have to be massacred by Kiir and his husband Museveni. The government does not treat cease fire deal as anything of value. You can imagine after the said deal was signed, the government and Uganda troops were in Bentiu town and now they are in Leer. Ethiopia and Sudan be brave to stop this

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      • 2 February 2014 07:52, by Chol A.

        Tutu tutu, don’t crying yet son of nyagat, we always warn you not to wages war against government but you too ignorance and form your militia as way of doing business . Please Riak never sib the worst but we wish to be true that Spla force have attack Leer that were his family feel that their son is foolish enough to bring war against them.

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      • 2 February 2014 08:12, by Maguangdit

        Tut Tut,
        Don`t cry, beg Ethiopia or Sudan to salvage you yet. You have so dumb that you don`t even see the difference between a tribe and a government. I wish nobody ever died again in South Sudan after a Civil War but you people have proven to be unruly tribe. You have become terrorists, not militia anymore. I wish this was true so that Riak and his village face it and taste the war products.

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        • 2 February 2014 08:34, by Tut Tut

          Mrs Chola and M Museveni,you both are inferiors to the point of inviting anyone to f Dinka asses at will.You can call names,but that will not solves the current war your brainless tribe imposed on the people of S.Sudan. Mentioning Ethiopia and Sudan should not cause you pass out because they are part of IGAD which your Husband Museveni has abused.In that, the future of IGAD is in a greater risk.

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        • 2 February 2014 08:42, by Tut Tut

          Continue..., IGAD as s Regional Body is not formed only for this senseless crisis caused by these two dictators; namely Museveni and Kiir. If this Organization has a creed, then it must stand up against its members who try to abused such creed as is now the case of Museveni. So the fools are those who believe in deception.

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  • 2 February 2014 08:01, by Marco Bul

    Why are Nuer running yet Monytuil and Matthew Pul Jang are there commanding??
    Let there be displacement in both Warrap and Leer.This is where the fools hail from respectively.We South Sudanese did not want war at this stage

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    • 2 February 2014 08:36, by Toney Toney Matot

      Marco Bul,
      you had been beating this drum of war since and now you are coming to your senses.some of disgruntle Nuer thought that they will won this war by mobilizing young children from Lou Nuer and named it white army.this is a barbaric act of incompetent Riek machar to repeat the same of 1991.white army never learned but this time they will never follow again this stooge called riek and Midiit

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      • 2 February 2014 08:54, by Tut Tut

        Well the White Army is getting even stronger and if it makes the brooms pass out in their under wears,let them buy more soap because the mighty army has a plan to get to them should they not stop their conspiracy against innocent Nuer civilians.Best way to economize the stolen money is to eat less and leave the country to its rightful owners. Let the brooms f themselves in Uganda safe exit for now

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        • 2 February 2014 10:36, by Makuen Ci Nhomwan

          Now that tribal nuer leader Dr. Riek stupid midiit, tut tut and Tong Dut will see the impact/output of the war now their dirty and thoughtless nuer resident of leer county ranaway why they don,t stay there.idiot and lol absentminded.

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  • 2 February 2014 08:55, by barbayo

    it proof that Raik Macher does not want to destroy his State that why he told his malitias not fight with SPLA for safety of people and Aleer county properties even malitias not be kill,Macher want Lou Nuer only to be kill

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    • 2 February 2014 10:36, by Toney Toney Matot

      Dog Tut Tut,
      take this to your thick head that Nuer ideology does not represent South Sudanese views.your ngun deng prophecy have made you mad to blindly support the hopeless leader and prophet of doom Riek. there is no way for Nuer to imposed their savage witch craft on South Sudanese people.believed in him but not all of us as you may think.

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      • 2 February 2014 12:02, by Tut Tut

        Toney matot; did you dare to call me a dog? If I am a dog, then you automatically my female dog given the fact that a male dog is superior upon inferior female dog. Reason being, you are now inviting any male dogs out there to fuck you at will so may be you can survive the threat from us the superior human males.Your inferiority has been exposed to its peak. Be assure we are coming soon no return.

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  • 2 February 2014 13:05, by barbayo

    Tut Tut
    you are dreaming ,where is Tangany ,DY,Gatwich this alast war of malitias ,if there other heavy fighting again like 15,dec,those who are in UNMISS must be wash out,

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  • 2 February 2014 13:13, by barbayo

    every body knowing that ,there are militias elements in UNMISS Camps in South Sudan,Nuer are believe Araik Macher as thier god,

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  • 2 February 2014 18:21, by Tango Alpha

    That was very good indeed for the SPLA/M forces to take Leer from the rebel. This could show that the government is serious about the mass which was done by Riek Machar Teny. Also this move will tell Riek Machar that SPLM/A is still strong and it would be stronger then ever before. Riek Machar need to learn a serious lesson that he may not forget in his lives if he would still be in the world.

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    • 3 February 2014 05:21, by Johndumo14

      If you see the video of how these young men being killed in the war in Bor it is terrible!No body even Dr Riek Machar will convince them again to join forces to face SPLA and Uganda army in battle in Bor or anywhere in south sudan.How can you go to battle with sticks and long knives (pangers) to face SPLA and Uganda army with modern weapons like Gunships?

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  • 3 February 2014 09:27, by Konkooc

    let home town leer of devil riek be burn down to ashes like his foodl lover millitias did in Malakal,Bor and Bentiu.
    nuer of riek are not people but animals like.
    riek decieved stupid lou nuer youths while his leer dogs are now afriad to face Invincible Mighty Dinka.

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    • 3 February 2014 11:03, by Bentiu son

      Warap boy Koonkoc,this jungle called South Sudan will be burn to ashes completely since your Dinka Rek Genocidal President doesn’t respect the cessation of hostility signed in Addis Ababa last month.The scenarios in Leer will knock the door of every State/county/payam/buma in South Sudan just a matter of time n space.Warap boys just celebrate now but you will mourn badly tomorrow when we response

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      • 3 February 2014 12:52, by Konkooc

        You are just barking
        eye for an eye and tooth for tooth
        Now the whole Dinka is monitoring nuer movement
        nuer may win a battle but not War.

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