Home | News    Monday 6 July 2015

Bul-Nuer fights for govt against other Nuer communities in Unity state - report


July 5, 2015 (NAIROBI) – A report based on extensive assessment of the fighting in the oil-rich Unity state has revealed that president Salva Kiir’s government strategically has been arming and using Bul-Nuer clan to do most of the fighting against their fellow Nuer communities in the state, prompting fears that the intra-Nuer conflict may persist even if a peace agreement is signed in Addis Ababa with the armed opposition faction led by former vice president, Riek Machar.

A comprehensive report by Human Security Baseline Assessment (Small Arms Survey) which covers the ongoing fighting in Unity state from January up to July 2015 said the government had been in its campaign in southern Unity state in which forces of the South Sudanese army (SPLA) were aided by Bul Nuer fighters, recruited by Matthew Puljang, and promised a share in the spoils of war.

The report, released on Friday, said fighters from the Bul-Nuer clan, in what the other Nuer communities said was the worst betrayal to their community by their own clan, have joined with armed youth and forces from Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states to destroy villages of other Nuer communities, burning villages, looting livestock, killing, torturing and raping their women and girls, throwing them into fire after rape and castrating boys, or killing them.

It said Major General Puljang, a Bul-Nuer, has been recruiting more fighters from the Bul community to continue with the destruction of other Nuer communities in Unity state on behalf of the government.

“On 19 June, a force of approximately 8,000 Bul Nuer youth marched past the Bentiu Protection of Civilians (PoC) site on its way south. This force raided Guit and Koch on 20–25 June, and then moved further south, to Leer,” says the report.

“The SPLA, and its associated Bul Nuer fighters, targeted Nuer civilians and committed widespread sexual violence against Nuer women,” it says.

In mid-June, Unity state government led by Joseph Monytuil Wijang, a Bul-Nuer, whose brother, Bapiny Monytuil, is also a military commander in the state, issued an announcement which warned that anyone not aligned with the rebel forces (SPLA-IO) should move their cattle to Bentiu capital or else face the consequences.

In the Bul-Nuer led operations against the other Nuer civilians, over 100,000 civilians were displaced across many Nuer inhabited counties in the southern part of the state, and between 70,000 and 100,000 heads of cattle were looted and driven to Bentiu by the joint Bul-Nuer and Dinka fighters.

On 19 June, a force of approximately 8,000 Bul Nuer youth marched past the Bentiu Protection of Civilians (PoC) site on its way south. This force raided Guit and Koch on 20–25 June, and then moved further south, to Leer. Youth from Koch joined in this raiding, after they were promised a free hand in the south. These raids have the capacity to create serious intra-ethnic conflict between the Nuer of southern Unity and Bul Nuer from Mayom county that are already blamed for siding

According to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Bentiu Protection of Civilians (PoC) site contained 78,308 people as of 25 June, many of whom were the previous owners of the cattle who were displaced by fighting and their cattle looted by the South Sudanese army.

Also in February and March 2014, the SPLA, aided by the elements of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudanese rebel group originating in Darfur, pushed into southern Unity, displacing “thousands of people, capturing livestock, razing villages, killing civilians, and raping women.”

The report says the government’s offensive was designed to disrupt the SPLA-IO, punish its supporters, and acquire resources.

“Rather than the offensive being a series of military victories, fought against entrenched SPLA-IO positions, the assault was characterized by attacks on the villages of southern Unity—it was a demographic war, waged against the population, and carried out by raiding, with the livestock and resources carried back to Bentiu, and into northern Unity,” it observed.

It further said the South Sudanese army moved troops east from Warrap state into Abiemnom county in Unity state and then into Bentiu, while preparing forces in Lakes and Warrap states for an assault from the south of Unity state.

The report also quoted the South Sudanese president Salva Kiir in his statements in two separate speeches at the end of March in which he proclaimed that the best way to deal with Riek Machar, the leader of the SPLA-IO, whose home state is being destroyed, is to destroy his forces or stronghold and “make him come home, just like in 2002.”


The report relayed fears of the possibility that the intra-Nuer conflict may continue beyond a peace agreement as the government has successfully planted hatred and violence between its ally, the Bul-Nuer community, and the rest of the Nuer communities in the oil-rich Unity state.

For many Nuer communities of Dok (Leer) Haak (Mayendit), Jikany (Guit), Jagei (Koch), Leek (Rubkotni), and Nyuong (Panyijiar) counties, the last offensive and the current raiding was only the latest episode in a story of desertion and treachery on the part of the Bul Nuer, who are held to have deserted their Nuer kinsmen by siding with the Dinka-led government in December 2013, and were now taking part in attacks on southern Unity state.

General Puljang, from Bul Nuer, also led offensive against rebel forces over control of the Unity oilfields in Rubkotni and Pariang counties, north of Bentiu towards the Sudanese border. Also another powerful army General Buay Rolnyang, also from Bul Nuer, is the one protecting the remaining Paloch oilfields and Renk county, which connects to Sudan.

But General Peter Gatdet Yak, from Bul Nuer, is the deputy chief of general staff for operations in the rebel forces led by Machar.

Other Nuer communities talk of Bul Nuer as becoming part of the Dinka community as they were being "misguided" after the death of their respected leader, General Paulino Matip Nhial.

“In the Bentiu PoC site, Dok and Jikany Nuer refer to the Bul as ‘Dinka’, and talk openly about taking revenge once the war is over,” the report says.

“The enmity felt by the rest of the Nuer in Unity, and the degree of political and military control currently possessed by Matthew Puljang and Joseph Nguen Monytuel (the current governor, and also a Bul Nuer), makes it highly unlikely they would be willing to give up power within the state,” it further observed.

This political dominance, it said, meant it was hard to see the SPLA-aligned Bul Nuer elite accepting a political settlement that would find a place for Taban Deng Gai, the former governor of the state and one of the SPLA-IO’s lead negotiators.

This situation is aggravated by the fact that Nguen Monytuel is a rival of Taban Deng Gai and the enmity felt between the two men was one of the reasons that Nguen Monytuel initially sided with the SPLA rather than the rebel forces.

A political settlement, however, that leaves the perpetrators of the 2015 offensive in southern Unity state in charge of the state was unlikely to be palatable either to the Nuer-majority of Unity state, or to the political leadership of the of opposition faction.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 6 July 2015 08:00, by Mi diit

    Bul Nuer community will one day cry with tears of blood when they find out how they have been used to kill and destroy lives of their Nuer people.

    Even Johnson Olony defected with all the weapons provided to him by Dinka’s Kiir when he realized he was being used, and finally his deputy murdered.

    Kiir will finally kill Bul Nuer leaders before other Nuers could touch their bodies. Think twice!

    • 6 July 2015 09:37, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      Nuer, themselves found Riek Machar, movement as terror.
      South Sudanese people will shortly hope the mission of SPLM-IO collaborating with ISL will be ended.

    • 6 July 2015 10:53, by Mayom County Boy

      Midiit & Chuol plus Malakal County Simon. we are still progressing very well , we will not surrender to your useless rebellion that you form.never to mislead us because you form a rebellion that we will not accept
      please be aware that more and more like abduction and raping , killing it is something your forces committed before after all we revenge for what your forces did to our communities .

    • 6 July 2015 16:13, by Hardlinner

      It is the duty of government of south sudan to protect bul nuer now and after the war. Bul nuer do not want riek stupidityand his destructive war. Bentiu was destroyed by riek forces and therefore, it is the responsibility of bul nuer to safe guard the welfare of bentiu and surrounding areas. Bul nuer oyee. To hell with riek and his blind nuer supporters.

  • 6 July 2015 08:32, by Son of Ngundeng

    Dear all:
    Bul Nuer have bloodily militia in their life since the Jalaba war, militia to Arab and to Dinka.

    Bul Nuer will regret one day soon.

    Son of Ngundeng
    currently in front
    line Pathay Jonglei

    • 6 July 2015 09:20, by Redeemer

      Son of Ngundeng
      You cannot force people to rebel, the problem of Dok, Haak, Jikany, Jagei, Leek, and Nyuong counties of ravage killings, rape and raid is a culture. They went as far as killing Government officials before the current war, you are making up another fake story as usual

      • 6 July 2015 09:34, by Malakal county Simon


        Stay out of Nuer affairs, because you know nothing about......

    • 6 July 2015 13:26, by Lango2010

      midiit, son of ngundeng and malakal county boys:
      your comments just chief propaganda for creating more tribal war, it show to the world that what you are fighting is a Nuer and Dinka war of which you will gain no support at all. i hope Bul Nuer has chosen the right direction, the other subsection are on wrong. and you are wasting time for threatening them.

      • 6 July 2015 13:33, by Lango2010

        if you want all the Nuer to be on your side, and localized the war as Dinka and Nuer. what of the Equatorians and Dinkas that have rebel with Rebel riak should the withdraw back and leave the nuer alone? i guest no! because your rebellion is based and have no course either than power struggling on all selfish peoples of South Sudan, massing up the affairs of the nation and its citizen. go to hell,

  • 6 July 2015 09:11, by chuol

    The worst betrayal Nuer –Bul’s time will end and they will face it consequences of selling their own blood tribe. Let Manytuel and Jaang’s families drive them to evil direction by forgetting their people killed in December 15 2013.SPLA- IO is concentrating on Oil territories as advancement is closly reach to Paloch and celebrate 4th anniversary in my oilfield???

    • 6 July 2015 09:28, by Malakal county Simon

      Bull-Nuer clan is killings other Nuer clans over money?? Shame-on them, and one day they will pay that ultimate price for betraying the whole tribe.....

  • 6 July 2015 09:43, by Michael Miyom Minyiel

    The Southern counties deserve that.No one shall dare to place his wrath on Bul Nuer.We shall protect them forever.Do you want the war to be fought on tribal basis? Go ahead Bul Nuer and teach them well.

  • 6 July 2015 11:48, by Padiet Deng Alony

    i said before, is a tit for tat game not yet over. why crying now and taban was oppressing Bul Nuer before when he was a governor of unity state. that is the change you guys need. the fight is between pro-government and pro-rebel do not cry yet. only two options either you change government as you rebel said or you surrender to goverment.

    • 6 July 2015 13:14, by Bentiu Sudan

      Padiet Deng Alony,

      If you are from Unity State, you should know very well that Bul-Nuer are always sided with the person who give them enough food to eat. You should know that Bul never been in the SPLA. They are the one who had been fighting the rest of Bentiu communities since 1983 until 2006 when Matip joined the SPLA.

      • 6 July 2015 13:20, by Bentiu Sudan

        Padiet Deng Alony,

        Bul-Nuer refused to join the SPLA in 1983 because at the Time the SPLA did not have money to pay it fighters. However, when SPLA started paying it soldiers, Bul-Nuer came to the SPLA in large number in 2006. Today Bul-Nuer are sided with Kiir because he give them large amount of Money. What credibility do you have for such kind of people?

        • 6 July 2015 13:29, by Bentiu Sudan

          Padiet Deng Alony,

          Salva Kiir is using Bul-Nuer to protect Warrap. All Bul’s children are being armed and are frontlines fighting with the rebels while Warrap and North Bar El gazal, Parieng, and Abiemdom children are studying and playing sports. Bul-Nuer is brainless, cluless, and short sighted community.

          • 6 July 2015 15:48, by Dinka-Defender-General

            Benitu, Buls’ Nuer are wise, thinkers, and leaders. They know Machar is after pay raise by using brainwash and clueless Nuer’s leaders. When are you going to learn if you didn’t learn from 1991 painful war with no objections. What did Machar achieve in his 1991 war? Please tell us? I will tell you what Spla delivered to south people. Freedom and land.

        • 6 July 2015 16:29, by Hardlinner

          Bentiu, bul nuer kids are studying like the rest of south sudanese kids. It is only the kids of the opposition fighters that are not in school. So war is only affecting opposition nuer kids. Stop your stupidity and quit riek baseless war. Most south sudanese do not like kiir handling of the country, but there are ways of say no to kiir leadership without any need for war.

          • 6 July 2015 20:26, by Rami Tot

            Don.t be dumps try to understand to you those nuer the matter is not Bul but those leaders from Bul the opportunist using innocents carryout attacks on other innocents nuer this a problem remember this war is being fought by Bul in the first place u can not blame all bul for individual work we are the one rescued Garmachar in juba when he was about to be assasinated by Dinka

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Why Sudan’s interests lie in U.S. delisting and normalization with Israel 2020-10-22 06:08:56 By: Trayo A. Ali How will the de-linking of the American process for removing Sudan from the State Sponsor of Terror (SST) list from its process of normalizing relations with Israel diminish (...)

No to calls for anti-peace protests 2020-10-22 06:07:08 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman Some traditional Sudanese political parties have grown old and are crying out to demand that the Sudanese people go out on October 21, 2020, in a major demonstration to (...)

The 21 October March: Who is the Enemy? 2020-10-21 05:52:11 By Yasir Arman One of the main features of the December revolution is its vitality and the broad participation of women and youth, resistance committees, martyrs' families, forces from the (...)


Latest Press Releases

Sudan: Performing arts is not a crime, assaulting women and artists is! 2020-09-20 08:54:28 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Sudan is still struggling with militant Islamist ideology KHARTOUM: Central Khartoum Primary Court issued a verdict against five (...)

Civil Society Statement in Response to The Law of Various Amendments 2020-08-14 07:11:00 A Collaborative Civil Society Statement in Response to The Law of Various Amendments (Abolishing and Amending Provisions Restricting Freedom) – Exposing ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ Sudanese women (...)

Remarks by SRF leaders at the Friend of Sudan meeting on peace 2020-08-13 07:58:58 Chairman of the Friends of Sudan Conference, Your Excellency, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The Prime Minister of Sudan and the participating team from the (...)


Copyright © 2003-2020 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.