Home | News    Thursday 29 March 2012

S. Sudanese rebels claim responsibility for borderland attack Juba attributed to Khartoum

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By Toby Collins

March 28, 2012 (LONDON) – South Sudanese rebels, the South Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SSLA/M) claim to have captured a base belonging to the South Sudan army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in Lalop, Parieng county, Unity state, at 7.00 pm local time on Tuesday.

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A South Sudanese policeman stands in a bomb crater in the El Nar oil field, Unity State, March 3, 2012 R(EUTERS)

The SSLA/M issued a press release on Tuesday claiming to have captured 24 SPLA soldiers, including a Col. Tut Chol; destroyed seven tanks; captured 12 Toyota Land Cruisers, 120 AK-47s (machine guns), two RPG-9 (rockets), 20 12.5mm (machine guns); five 14.5mm and 15mm PKM (machine guns); and to have killed 120 SPLA troops. They claim to have sustained seven fatalities and 15 injuries.

These claims have not been independently verified.

“Our forces are now advancing to Rubkona” state the SSLA/M.

The SSLA/M told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that claims that the SPLA is engaging with Khartoum’s Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in the region are “propaganda coming from Juba”.

The SSLA/M claim to have “deployed five battalions right now and they are the ones engaging the SPLA. Once we capture Parieng County, we will be matching to Bentiu.”

The president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, announced on Monday that the SPLA had been fighting SAF in border regions including oil-rich Heglig. He made no mention of rebel activity in his address.

In response to Juba’s claims SAF spokesman, al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad said the border clashes were "limited" and carried out by the SPLA as well as fighters from Darfur rebels the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

The SSLA/M allege that also assisting the SPLA were the SPLA-North (SPLA-N); a north Sudanese rebel group fighting SAF in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

SPLA-N is in a coalition with JEM; a rebel group involved in the Darfur conflict, which borders South Kordofan. Together with the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid al-Nur and Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi they form the Sudan Revolutionary Front.

This coincided with an earlier press release from the SSLA/M, claiming their forces had captured an SPLA military base in northern Pariang county.

In this earlier release they claimed to have “dislodged” 5,000 SPLA soldiers, as well as destroying two tanks, four mounted Toyota Land Cruisers and two Russian made military trucks.

The SSLA/M is calling for an urgent evacuation of Unity state as by 1 April the “SSLA operational commanders will take tea inside Bentiu town.”

The head of the SSLA high military command, James Gai Yoach, allegedly received declarations of allegiance from five of Unity state’s paramount chiefs on Monday, who will welcome their forces with “flowers and milk”.

An attack by combined forces SSLA and South Sudan Defence Army (SSDA) under the command of Johnson Olony on Malakal in Upper Nile state, they allege, is also imminent.

SSLA/M and SAF

It is unclear whether the SSLA/M interprets the SPLA’s engagement with SAF as an opportunity to strike its weakened adversary. And if so, what the SSLA/M envisages as a favourable outcome; SSLA/M victories against the SPLA could leave the door open for SAF encroachment.

This ambiguity is particularly pertinent in relation to a recent rebel coalition spat which saw a senior member claiming backing from Khartoum. The SSLA/M have now distanced themselves from Tong Lual Ayat, the leader of the South Sudan People Liberation Army/Movement (SSPLA/M), but with allegations that rebels in the region are in the possession of new, Chinese-made arms - as used by SAF - their allegiances remain a matter of speculation.

The SSPLA/M released a manifesto in December 2011 calling for South Sudan to once again be governed by Khartoum. When the inherent incompatibility in this agenda with the SSLA/M’s manifesto was flagged up, the SSPLA/M swiftly made a retraction.

In response to a query on this subject, the SSPLA/M spokesperson, Bapiny Montuil, told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that, “our main goal is to deal with Kiir’s regime and then address the outstanding and pending issues between the North and the South such as Abyei, border demarcation and the rest.”

Montuil previously served as a brigadier general in SAF after refusing to join the SPLA after the Juba Declaration in 2006.

SSLA/M and the Nuer White Army (NWA)

On 19 March the SSLA/M claimed it would be offering military support to the NWA which is in conflict with the Murle ethnic group in Jonglei state.

The NWA are a militia claiming to protect Nuer interests in Jonglei in the face of Murle aggression.

Whether this coaltion is on hiatus while the SSLA/M is engaging with the SPLA in Unity is unclear.

In January the UN estimated 120,000 “may need relief assistance” due to the conflict in Jonglei since. There has been a long-running cattle-raiding/child-abduction feud between the Luo-Nuer and Murle ethnic groups which has escalated with the advent of readily available small arms. The proliferation of which is due, in part, to two decades of Sudanese civil war, which ended in 2005.

They SSLA/M on Tuesday confirmed that the NWA is acting under the leadership of Bor Doang but did not know the identity of his Murle counterpart or if their leadership structure includes such a role. The NWA has previously identified itself as a youth group which dissociates itself from the traditional leadership structures which have, historically, been used to mediate such disputes.

There has been scant information from the Murle Diaspora and the Murle in South Sudan on their perspective of the conflict, unlike the vocal Luo-Nuer who claim that the Murle have been driven to abducting their children as they are suffering from an infertility endemic; a view shared by Kiir.

According to the UN Environmental Program the Murle were in Ethiopia until the 19th century. Some remained their until the 1990s while others were driven west by local Nilotes. They established an homeland in Pibor county, Jonglei state in the 1930s, since which, environmental pressures have impinged upon their pastoralist lifestyle.

Little evidence can be found to support the infertility claim. However, the motivation to rationalise the denigration of one of South Sudan’s pariah ethnic groups, in order to legitimise the attribution of blame, is self-evident.

The notable Murle rebel leader, David Yauyau, signed a peace deal with Juba government in June 2011.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 29 March 2012 06:49, by omoni jr.

    it seemed to be "white lies" created by gangsters

    repondre message

    • 29 March 2012 08:34, by Alier42

      It true that the rebel groups took advantage of the ongoing clashes at the borders of the two countries.in fact people can acknowledge their activities in the area since then.but the only problem in the informations given in the article ,is full of fabrication which make no sense at all to the readers.i am in full support of any organise group that can bring change, that can be enjoyed by all sout

      repondre message

    • 29 March 2012 13:23, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      if for sure,how can one said,if our oil field has been bomb by the Arabs and yet you Nuer and Shilluk stand by the side of Arabs.

      OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

      repondre message

  • 29 March 2012 07:06, by mosa mel

    It is not work guys

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  • 29 March 2012 07:25, by Sundayw

    What a load of crap trying to analyze a problem without any evidence. The so-called SSLA does not have the support of the population and has no agenda beyond serving as a buffer for the SAF. Where is their base of support? This is why the SAF will never benefit from this relationship. Unlike SPLM-N that has widespread support across North Sudan, SSLA is just a proxy force that is weak.

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    • 29 March 2012 09:27, by michael coma

      Dear readers.
      Do you really know what SSLA meant?SSLA is the movement formed by the desparates people who have no vission in South Sudan,so they came up with survival way of how to waited their days of leaving this world because they committed alot of crimes.SSLA stand for stupid soldiers of lacky aproach or moveless.Michael coma

      repondre message

  • 29 March 2012 07:26, by Alfredo christiani

    Dear readers
    This is a pure propaganda from illeterates nuers who are still runing afetr FOOD in khartoum ,

    repondre message

    • 29 March 2012 07:59, by wang

      Alfredo christiani
      Please let us condemn this rebels(SSLA)evil act as a nation. Pointing your figure to Nuer would only bring argument among us.

      repondre message

  • 29 March 2012 08:00, by Madina Tonj

    Toby Collins

    This tribe call Nuer and Shullik have been doing all these destruction since the SPLA/SPLM began. They know the will never achieve anything however, they are hoping that, making destruction and factionalism will give them VP president

    These are the people Salva Kiir Manyardit try to please them and turn against his own tribe. Indeed, it is good lesson president kiir need to learn

    repondre message

    • 29 March 2012 08:36, by Ross

      Madina Tonj
      Your statement is not bad specially for the Tribalists, but i’m afraid you are not one of them. actually an educated person must be unique what matter situation needs him/her to change.so please try to use a good philosophy when ever you are giving a statement. Generalization is a crime.

      repondre message

      • 29 March 2012 09:27, by Madina Tonj

        Ross

        you hear Khartoum have open rebels training camp in two States South Kordofan and South Blue Nile and they are all Nuers and Shullik why they cooperate with Khartoum regime always.?

        repondre message

    • 29 March 2012 10:30, by Gogrialboys

      No, It is not true that forming militia will lend Nuer vice president. Leaders are chosen or elected for that matter according to their deeds and leadership. What is certain to Nuer is that they support those who are against dinka and not Arab. It is afact that no can denied it. Nuer only blame those who are committed to the course of freedom then food lovers that Khartoum always use.

      repondre message

    • 29 March 2012 16:26, by Ruach

      The so called SSLA/M has no clear objective at all.But u stupid Madina Tonj will end for nothing,commenting against Nuer every time will blow u away.

      repondre message

  • 29 March 2012 09:33, by wad balad

    The goverment in khartoum should support the SSLA long time ago. Not as tit for tat move againt the SPLM but because they fight for a real cause.

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    • 29 March 2012 17:44, by never

      nuer with food/money and their brothers from chulluk.
      that was the same behabiuos of Riak machar in 1991 with lam akol.
      what are we gone a do with those rribes?

      repondre message

  • 29 March 2012 19:46, by James Maker Akok

    This report is not clear, I don’t know who telling true

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  • 29 March 2012 20:00, by Kim Deng

    Coward Jaang/Slaves,

    Don’t worry, the Nuer are fighting themselves just to secure the gate for Dinka Empire in the South. The South Sudan’s army [SPLA] is dominated by Nuer tribe as well as SSLA/M. Instead, you should celebrate it since it’s Nuer vs. Nuer the only threat to Dinka Kingdom.

    repondre message

  • 30 March 2012 01:51, by bishop

    If have you fully read this article, then you should consider yourself a fool. BLUFFING!!!

    repondre message

    • 30 March 2012 02:24, by allan

      To all my love southerness dont worry abt this claim of ssla these rebell are looking for pay check from their master in khartoum

      repondre message

      • 30 March 2012 17:54, by Son of Upper Nile

        I know Okucu has deep hatred towards Shilluk while I observed all his comments in this site. I know you are on of Upper Nile Dinka who suffer inferiority complex because you are taught, treated & civilized by Shilluk. What makes me wonder is that people like you although they hate Shilluk will pay whatsoever asked of them to marry beautiful Shilluk ladies even if she has 5 kids before.

        repondre message

  • 13 July 2013 14:50, by kensingtonsq

    Kensington Square will be accessible via Bartley MRT station on the Circle Line. Commuting to Toa Payoh and Paya Lebar area as well as the city area is therefore very convenient. It is also near to many eateries along the Upper Serangoon area as well as NEX shopping mall.
    Kensington Square

    repondre message

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