Home | News    Saturday 23 July 2011

South Sudan rebel leader Gatluak Gai killed in mysterious circumstances


-* Update: the SPLA deny involvement in Gatluak Gai’s killing

July 23, 2011 (JUBA) - A rebel leader in South Sudan’s Unity state was shot dead this morning in Koch county, only three days after he signed a peace deal with South Sudan army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

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Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers march during the Independence Day ceremony in Juba July 9, 2011 (Reuters)

Citizens and officials from the area told Sudan Tribune that Colonel Gatluak Gai was shot dead on Saturday morning along with some of his bodyguards after a group of people opened fire on him at Pakur where his forces have been temporarily assembled.

Phillip Aguer, the SPLA spokesperson confirmed Gatluak’s death, accusing the latter’s deputy, Marko Chuol Ruei for allegedly opening killing the former rebel leader after disagreement within the rebel camp.

"As you are aware, the government of Unity state entered into an agreement with Gatluak Gai and his forces leading to the signing of a peace agreement just three days ago. But two days later, differences began emerging within the rebel camps, whereby some soldiers led by Gatluak started disrespecting this peace deal," Aguer told Sudan Tribune by phone.

He added, "This morning, five senior commanders led by Marko Chuol Ruei went and tried to persuade their leader only for Gatluak’s loyal forces to fire at them. Immediately, there was exchange of fire between the two rebel camps and Gatluak plus three others were killed in the process."

Aguer, however, distanced the army’s involvement in the Saturday morning incident, saying the SPLA were assembled in one point simply waiting for the rebels, who days after the peace agreement, hinted on joining the southern army.

Col. Gatluak signed peace agreement this week with the SPLA which was facilitated by the Deputy Chief of General Staff, Lt. General Pieng Deng Majok, and was promised the rank of Lt. General in the SPLA.

Unity State government has been engaging in peace talks with Gai for the last six weeks. Gai defected from the SPLA and rebelled against South Sudan’s government after the announcement of election results in April last year.

Gai, is believed to have hoped to become a county commissioner - a position appointed by state governors - if independent candidate Angelina Teny beat the incumbent Taban Deng Gai to the gubernatorial seat in Bentiu.

After it was declared the Teny, the wife of South Sudan vice president Riek Machar, had lost Gai began a localised rebellion against the SPLA and the South Sudan government.

Salva Kiir the president of South Sudan took the opportunity on July 9, when the country became independent as part of a 2005 North-South peace deal, to repeat his offer of an amnesty to all rebel groups in Africa’s 54th country.


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  • 23 July 2011 11:14, by Mi diit

    i don’t know when there will ever be genuine peace agreement to end the war with rebels in south sudan. agreements are full of deceptions and plots to kill.

    gabriel tanginya was lured to peace agreement and attacked at the assembly area of kaldak given to him by the very spla. as a result he is now being held under detention for that very fight which he did not start.

    now gatluak gai got killed in that same plot of deception. i don’t think any other rebel leader like peter gatdet, george athor, abdel bagi ayii and the rest like olony will ever make peace again with this current government.

    spla should know that something called trust is very important. it was the trust that made the cpa possible between former rebel spla and sundan army (saf) and kept salva kiir alive not to be murdered by omer al basher in khartoum. they should do the same with their rebels in order to achieve peace in the new republic of south sudan.

    why killed somebody after signing peace with you. did pieng deng kuol used the spla money in his administration to pay for somebody to kill gatluak gai instead of making genuine peace with him? do we want to introduce such kind of cold murders in our system?

    why are people behaving like savages?

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    • 23 July 2011 11:26, by LL Reuben


      Don’t judge prematurely, if col. Gai is in facts dead, SPLA has nothing to do with his killing according to what has been stated in this report. So please be responsible with your comments otherwise your contribution is toxic.

      Rest in peace Mr. Gai

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      • 23 July 2011 12:16, by Sam.Eto

        This is what the SPLM does to people. Taught to them by thier zionst masters.. Kill, lie, steal and cheat to get ahead and be in control. I think what they’ ve done is clear to everyone. They shake your hand with one arm and shoot you with the other. They’ ve done it to many rebels in the south, North Sudan government, SPLM North and Nuba people. Use people to get thier way and then backstab them.

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      • 23 July 2011 12:31, by Sam.Eto

        S. Sudan rebel leader Gatluak Gai shot dead
        (AFP) – 1 hour ago 
        KHARTOUM — South Sudan rebel leader Gatluak Gai was shot dead in Unity state on Saturday, the army and a rebel source said, just a week after agreeing to a ceasefire and as the newly independent country renewed its amnesty offer.
        It was unclear how Gai was killed, with the SPLA, the army of the south, insisting he was shot by his own men after reneging on the agreement, and a rebel source saying he was "murdered" by the SPLA.
        "He was not killed by the SPLA; he was killed by his own men," army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP.
        South Sudan, which declared independence from the north on July 9, faces a host of truly daunting challenges.
        Among the greatest of these is the threat posed by at least seven militia groups within its borders, with more than 1,800 people killed in violent conflict so far this year, many between the army and the rebels in states across the country.
        Aguer said Gai, a renegade militia commander who rejected an amnesty offer from the southern government last year, signed a ceasefire last week after months of negotiations with Unity state Governor Taban Deng.

        But a spokesman for another rebel group active in Unity state, which borders the north, contradicted Aguer’s account of what happened.
        "Gatluak Gai was killed by the SPLA ... He signed a peace agreement and was ambushed by the same forces he signed the agreement with," Bol Gatkouth told AFP by phone.
        "It was a way of luring him in so that they could catch him," he added.
        Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

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    • 23 July 2011 13:16, by Ayuen deng

      Oooooooh!Noooooooo! Its can be true! My heartfelt condolency to the people of the Republic of South Sudan .To you people who like what happen ,never celebrate some body death because soon you will die and instate your people will not celebrate your death.Even if Galuak Gai was a rebel he still deserve honour and respect to live and enjoy the peace he was a ganst,like others who will enjoy this freedom of the Republic of South Sudan.

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    • 23 July 2011 14:41, by Mading Makuac

      Dear fellow citizens
      pliz there are some people who are happy about the death of
      former rebel.you know as a patriotic citizen ,you need not
      to feel happy about sad news .we have to mourn for his death
      becoz he has a right to live and it is very great shame to
      someone who planned the death of our beloved citizen.
      Shame on him!!!

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    • 23 July 2011 15:03, by Kom Yoal

      I think the government of south Sudan not really make peace with gatluak,because if they are really making peace with gatluak they cannot killed gatluak, that is and stupid Idea from Dinka Government,it sow pleasure that way cannot take south forward,that Idea killing only one tribe in government is not good,if south become belong to one tribe?

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      • 25 July 2011 11:09, by victor sani

        Dear Kom

        stop misunderstanding of word

        General Gatluak Gai was not Kill by Dinka .
        its was kill by his follow Nuer Groups royal to his Force in Unity state.
        my brother .stop against Dinak for no reason in its.

        God Bless you and forgive your sins against your brother and sister .
        thanks .best regard

        Victor Sani

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    • 23 July 2011 16:11, by Gatran - South Sudanese

      Dear Midiit and the rest,

      This is how Gai Tut Yang was killed by the same thugs after agreeing to settle everything by peaceful mean. Now, let us first of all wait how Riek Machar will react because this is what he has been telling us repeatedly that let the independent of South Sudan be achieved first and if not he will be no longer our kingpin in South Sudan any more. Gathoth Mai, Pieng Deng and Taban Deng Gai need to be sacked immediately, if we don’t want South Sudan to become another Somalia in Africa. All Nuer caretaker Ministers including Riek Machar to resign with immediate effect!!!!. And I also urges those of Greater Equatoria to block the two roads to Kenya and Uganda - refugees camps. Be careful here in Juba someone somewhere has already acquired a gun and will revenge before Gatluak Gai’s stomach spills under ground.
      May almighty God rest his soul in eternal peace!!!!!!!!

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      • 23 July 2011 17:15, by dakin

        Gatran South Sudanese,

        Well I have just made an effort to Bentiu and the man seem to be very ignorant about it.
        Apparently it is another cowardic move

        Why can’t you be ignorant too.
        It is everyone’s joy or problem

        For the border issue, don’t care about it

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    • 23 July 2011 19:57, by twins

      I am fully aware of SPLA is lies. Now, I understand the killing of Nuer in Fangak was SPL’s fault; SPLA also attacked Tanginya when he was getting ready with his force to be integraded into SPLA. Now SPLA may be saying it didn’t do it, but it is lying becuase these two evidences can prove it. Now, I am wondering what would Nuer community react.

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    • 24 July 2011 00:20, by Waucity

      Nuer, you need to be honest with yourselves, you can’t blame it on anybody, what happened today, is what Happened to William Nyoun, Keribino Kuayin Bol...All killed by you

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  • 23 July 2011 12:56, by Nhom wadit

    Let all of us pay condolences to the family of col.Gatluak b’se he vip since he has obeyed amnesty given to them by kiir on july 9th which marked the indpendence date of the country.so gvt should make investigation for the assassination.

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    • 23 July 2011 13:30, by Land-of-Cush

      I am not happy with any rebels who kills innocents people or who fight against south Sudan people who have been suffering in hands of Arab in decades for their own interest.

      But the dead of Gatluak Gai will be president Kiir and Peing Deng’s responsibility unless if the good investigation will be given and find out the source of killing because the Gatluak has already sign the peace in which he committed and vow to obey South Sudanese constitution’s law.

      Be warns that, such killing will get no end on wards among people of south Sudan. Gatluak has been suing by some body within government that why he get killed; the same thing will happen again because the page is already open.

      A gain the other rebel like Gatdet, George Athor to name only few and people of south Sudan will not trust SPLM/A for good; but you will experiences about these in next election.

      Finally, for those who always celebrating the dead of human being, you must know that the life is like snow that may occupy the area but likely to disappear in time. If you‘re laughing at someone’s dead in the cause of human or natural death because of he/she may be your enemy than you may be in trouble with no peace throughout your life time either through your family or you physically . That is the punishments from God and the spirits of dead people.

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      • 25 July 2011 09:46, by Sudan virus


        Most commentators are stream lined along Dinka-Nuar issue;

        Are we all Dinga and Nuar tribes in South Sudan?

        God civilize or curse the Nuar and Dinga, so that we live in Hormony and peace in the new state-Repbulic of South Sudan.

        Or must we establish a new state of cattle keepers for them!

        By a civilized patriotic citizen of RSS.


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  • 23 July 2011 14:13, by Garang

    Rest in peace General Gatluak Gai. May Almighaty God have mercy on you and the rest of your calibre, late Genearals William Nyuon Beny and Karbino.K. Bol. All of you will go down in the history of South Sudan as tough fighters who contributed to the struggle of our nation, but due to unkown diseases that each of you was suffering from, plus bieng illitrates, led to the sad ending each of you has gone through.

    May condolences to the bereaved family and associates.

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  • 23 July 2011 15:52, by RSS Citizen

    The fight for corruption is gradually coming into effect and the wise men are begining to eliminate their wrong doing by killing who ever was doing their dirty jobs. The killing of inocent citizen is prohibited and those responsible must either be sentence by capital punishment or made accountable for what they have done. It is as simple as an eye for and eye and nothing less or more. This rebel here has committed a lot of war crimes and he couldn’t just get a way with it, and i hope all other rebels ends up like him or start acting like responsible citizens becoz it is not their job to fight corruption with arms, this will not solve our problems.

    The president is starting to show us his true colours and he is going to be very rough in his second year in office against those corrupt officials. Finally, I would urge the president to play by the rules in fighting the corrupt official or else he could loose the next election if he doesn’t get us security.

    May God bless South Sudan.

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  • 23 July 2011 19:54, by Anei Matungphat

    There’s somehting I don’t understand. Why is the SPLA calling him a rebel leader while he signed peace deal with them & they were going to welcome him in Pakur.

    This statement of "South Sudan Rebel Leader" suspects SPLA wrong doing in this case. And if it’s true.....no matter what he does in the past cann’t take his life intentionally. There’s no death penalty in South Sudan Constitution. So that’s also another crime being commited under SPLA leadership. Everybody is free in South Sudan after independence, and the book signed by Kiir himself entitled every citizen to be punished by the book. Why are they punishing him behind the book?

    Riak Machar has done mysterious things in the past but that didn’t cost him his life. And if people are being punished behind the book then it should start with Riak himself down to the other thugs.

    Mr. President, you should form a steering committee to investigate this crime & if anyone is found doing it....that citizen must be punished by the book. Otherwise, the book is pointless if we don’t refer back to it.

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  • 23 July 2011 21:20, by Bush

    I don’t know why people are complaining here about the death of this militia leader, but for me this is how every stupid and illiterate renegade generals should die.

    They have nothing to bring about any change for the people of South Sudan but suffering and misery.How many people died after him since he rebelled? We have gained independence now and those renegade generals will killed like that one by one.

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  • 23 July 2011 22:44, by Michael Angelo


    I am not happy with what those militias are doing, but I don’t wish them to die because death is unavoidable thing. May God will rest his soul in peace.

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  • 23 July 2011 23:28, by Kim Deng

    One of several South Sudan rebel leaders killed
    * Africa’s newest nation hit by rebel and tribal violence

    (Adds details, background)

    By Jeremy Clarke

    JUBA, July 23 (Reuters) - A south Sudanese rebel leader was killed on Saturday, the southern army and a separate rebel group said, as the new nation’s rulers try to quell the violence that threatens their push for much-needed stability.

    South Sudan seceded from the north on July 9 — a separation won in a January referendum that was the climax of a 2005 peace deal ending decades of civil war with Khartoum.

    The oil-producing state is struggling with poverty, underdevelopment and persistent instability that threatens its east African neighbours.

    At least seven rebel militias are fighting the new government’s forces in remote parts of a country roughly the size of France.

    Gatluak Gai, one of several militia commanders in the south, was shot dead by his own group in oil-producing Unity state after agreeing a ceasefire with the government, said Philip Aguer, spokesman for the southern army known as SPLA.

    "Gatluak Gai was killed by his deputy. It was an internal division. He (had) signed a peace (deal) with the SPLA," he said.
    Aguer said Gai had changed his mind about his militia being integrated into the SPLA after agreeing to it earlier this week. The shooting began after an argument with his officers, he said.

    "Gatluak Gai and three others were killed in the shooting," Aguer said.

    A separate rebel group headed by former southern army officer Peter Gadet, which is also active in Unity state, said the SPLA had killed Gai. "Gatluak Gai has been killed by the SPLA. They shot him," spokesman Gatkuoth Kol said.

    Sudan watchers say Gai was not one of the top rebel leaders and was less powerful than Gadet or George Athor, another militia commander.

    South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has renewed an offer of amnesty to armed groups fighting his government, but previous pardons have had little success.

    Kol said rebels led by Gadet and Athor will reject the amnesty offer after Gai’s killing.

    "We will not talk to the South Sudan government after this ... This offer of amnesty they talk about and which is always in the media, this is what they do (if you accept it)," he said.

    South Sudan has accused Khartoum of supporting militias but the north denies this, and many rebels say they are fighting against what they see as corruption and ethnic discrimination in the south’s government, charges it denies.

    More than 2,300 people have been killed in rebel and tribal violence in the south in 2011, according to the United Nations. (Reporting by Jeremy Clarke, writing by Ulf Laessing, editing by Tim Pearce)

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  • 24 July 2011 03:02, by George Bol

    Militia galuak Gai die the same way William Nyuon die in the hand of his own group. This is the way the eat themselves. There is no leadership in Nuer system,everything is disagreement and even negotiation,huge problem so they should be seeking leadership training from Dinka or Equatorians.

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  • 24 July 2011 04:46, by Bestman





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  • 24 July 2011 05:26, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

    @Gatran you got a piont:

    Adura/Acuwa and Bilpham group was cause that way lead to Gai Tut yang death later. It was killed exactly like that,they attempted to Athor like that many time.

    Many commander in SPLA died that way among themselves.
    During the shooting somebody throw the hand garnet at him.
    The soldier that throws the Garnet was never identified; it was hidden by soldiers and never knows.

    It he was coming to unification. In military always has a lot of unknown confusion; it is like a Gang styles mood. People could not understand due to preoccupied behaviours of life threatening. It will be known some day what happen really on the ground there.

    Son of the Nile

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  • 24 July 2011 06:54, by Mi diit


    eventhough he chose a painful path of defending democracy in this nation by taking up arms, gatluak gai died a hero.

    he did not take up arms for nothing. he took up arms against dictatorship in south sudan in the same way john garang and salva kiir and riek machar took up arms against dictatorship and oppression in khartoum.

    if the 2010 elections were not rigged by the current leaders of south sudan, gatluak gai would not have taken up arms against the government. so he was fighting against injustice and dictatorship.

    a future leader in unity state will name schools and roads, etc, in memory of his good name. the man who fought for and died in defense of democracy in south sudan.

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    • 24 July 2011 07:05, by George Bol

      Mi dit,

      I have been telling your likes that defecting and dying for nothing will earn you nothing. Pls stop and you will live long!

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      • 24 July 2011 08:27, by dakin

        George Mamok Bol,

        Who are you to tell me you will live long?
        Did you kill him?

        Your are another character whose comments always reflect sheer stupidity

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        • 24 July 2011 14:17, by Mi diit

          george bol,

          if gatluak gai died for nothing then also john garang died for nothing because both of them were fighting against injustice and dictatorship in south sudan.

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  • 24 July 2011 10:00, by Nhomlawda

    Do not bother us about killing of a militia leader.

    They went to the bush aimlessly to kill, loots and be killed.

    Gatluak Gai had received a reward for treachery against his nation and people.

    Gatluak Gai is a gone case. People of South Sudan just wanted to know Gatluak Gai, a militia leader who had been terrorizing civilians in Unity State, is no more. How he died is not really a serious issue to dwell on for two days.

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  • 24 July 2011 16:27, by mangetsu

    yes i think the SPLA did assasinate gai. im not saying that its a bad thing. gai was a defector and a traitor to the republic of south sudan, and offering him amnesty and peace was showing other people that it was okay to betray youyr country. however, the handling of this assasination was amature at best. istead of it being a political assasination, it is now murder, theyintelligence and security services outa be ashamed for their amature work.

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    • 25 July 2011 02:29, by Paul

      I don’t think so. If SPLA did it, they would have done the same to David Yauyau. Gai was assassinated by his men who did like him to Lt. General on their expense.

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  • 25 July 2011 16:57, by Mwalimu Chol

    No matter what has been killed by Gatluak forces,but justice has been done.

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