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South Sudan’s Shilluk community forms defence force

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April 5, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s Shilluk (Chollo) community said it has established a defence force charged with protecting the lives and properties of its people, underscoring the central government’s failure to provide adequate security.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the community said they risked losing their land unless they fought to defend Shilluk territory.

“To face this disaster the Chollo youth have decided to defend their helpless people and liberate Chollo villages from the Nuer militia invaders. This decision had to be taken because our people were being chased like animals from place to place,” noted the statement.

The statement, which bears names of youth leadership, said the decision was prompted by the fact that their area had experienced ongoing insecurity since violence erupted in the country’s capital, Juba, in mid-December last year.

The conflict later spread to the three states of the Greater Upper Nile region.

The youth group claims their community has been subjected to “ruthless and unceasing brutal killings of innocent and unarmed civilians in [Upper Nile state capital] Malakal and the villages, allegedly by members of the Nuer ethnic group.

Although the conflict stemmed mostly from a political divide, it has increasingly taken on ethnic dimensions, with forces loyal to president Salva Kiir, a Dinka, pitted against rebels aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar, a Nuer.

The group has accused the South Sudanese army (SPLA) of standing by while “Chollo were mercilessly killed, their properties looted and their villages occupied”.

According to the statement, all Chollo land south of Kodok is now under rebel control, with Kodok itself also under threat of imminent attack.

It says people in the area are facing a severe humanitarian situation, with women, children and the elderly bearing the brunt of the harsh conditions.

“These are conditions of destruction and annihilation of a nation,” the group adds in the statement

The group claims youth have joined with organised forces under the command of Mustafa Gai Lwal, who represents Panyikang county in the Upper Nile state assembly.

It says the forces, some of whom are retired soldiers who served under previous governments in Sudan, captured the area from Athidhiang up to Nyilwaak following heavy fighting with rebel troops and are poised to capture other areas.

TONGA CAPTURED

Meanwhile, Upper Nile State information minister and residents claimed during a series of interview with Sudan Tribune on Saturday that a force under the command of Faromi Angui and Paul Nyirial had captured Tonga from rebels.

Tonga, the administrative headquarters of Panyikang county, is seen as a strategic town because of its location on the Nile River along with the porous border of neighbouring Sudan, generating fears it could be used as a supply route by rebels.

“I congratulate our youth because they have played a key role in the recapturing of this town,” information minister Philip Jiben Ogal told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

Lwal, who oversaw the operation, told Sudan Tribune in an exclusive interview on Saturday that civilians who had fled the area were now starting to return.

“There were no civilians when we came but they have now started returning in small number. The big challenge now is what to eat because all the belongings have been looted," said Lwal.

All the cows and grains have been ransacked by the militia of Riek Machar,” he added.

(ST)

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  • 6 April 06:23, by Majongdit

    Right move! There is no way Nuer youths should be allowed to ransack towns and chase people around. The nuer must be made to know that every community has its sons and daughters. The notion by the nuer that Greater Upper Nile is a Nuer region is a big lie. There is no one reason they should think like that.

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    • 6 April 06:56, by Mi diit

      Those are some foolish and typical emotional Shilluk who will finally fall victim of defending Kiir and his blood money in Juba. Why didn’t they form community militia when the Dinka were killing them in Upper Nile for many years? Now they emotionally think it is time to defend the money in Juba. Well, we will cut off that money soon and Kiir’s thugs will go back to Bahr el Ghazal. Where will you

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      • 6 April 07:26, by Mi diit

        Look, they emotionally call it defense of their land. The Nuer are fighting against Kiir’s government in Shilluk land, not to grab and occupy Shilluk land. The Shilluk sons and daughters will continue to administer and manage their land once that dictator’s forces are removed and Shilluk land is freed.

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        • 6 April 17:10, by Rommel

          Mi diit:
          As usual, you miss the point by a thousand miles... with your ever more nauseating brand of belligerent ignorance. It’s funny that you would characterize the right of the Shilluk to mobilise, organise and defend themselves as ’emotional’. But yes, it is ’typical’ of man to defend himself when attacked...

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          • 6 April 17:31, by Rommel

            .. There is no greater logic than survival. Survival is primal, and when any life form is threatened, there are three markedly different modes of response to choose from: Fight - Flight - or Freeze. Contrary to your ignorant display of sour grapes, the Shilluk did form a militia to defend themselves in land disputes with the Dinka in 2010. Does the name Johnson Olony ring a bell?

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            • 6 April 17:46, by Rommel

              If Riek’s forces didn’t kill, rape, pillage and inflict a great deal of devastation on the people of the Chollo kingdom, the Chollo wouldn’t have felt the need to create this force. You can’t simply reduce everything to pecuniary greed -to money- when people oppose you. Unlike others, the Chollo didn’t join Khartoum’s militia network during the war...

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              • 6 April 18:03, by Rommel

                ..The Chollo didn’t have anyone like Matip — a man that was rewarded handsomely for his services. Khartoum even promoted Matip to the rank of Major-General in the SAF. Matip and many others [from a certain group] were allies of the SAF, the PDF and the various Baggara tribes that warred with the Dinka during the war. Look in the mirror before you condemn others, fool.

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      • 6 April 08:35, by John The President

        Mi Diit
        believe it or not, your Riek game is coming to an end, this guy lack wisdom. He officially allows his white army to murder civilian and the worst case is when some were killed in churches, those battling for life in hospitals were not sympathized with. how would you rally behind such a person if you really value human life. I appreciate the move by Chollo youth.....

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        • 6 April 08:42, by John The President

          ..and my respect for Dr Monytuil, Magok Rundial, James Kok, Dr Riek Gai Kok and the entire Nuer youths who have not listened to Riek. I know these great politicains won’t just be misled by a none patriotic idiot in the expense of the suffering South Sudanese population. all the communities in Uppernile must form their malitia to protect civilian were gov’t seems to have difficulties to reach.

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  • 6 April 06:31, by Bentiu son

    Dear Chollo Community,please do not be foolishly dragging into feudal war created by Dinka thugs against the Nuer Community due for leadership whom Dinkas elders bow not to be given to non Dinka person or Nuer son whatsoever it may takes.Now Dr Lam Akol wants to sell you alive for his own political gimmicky. We Nuer have no problem with Chollo Community but with Chollo- Dinka morons like Dr Lam.

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    • 6 April 06:44, by Bentiu son

      Don’t lie to public that your Chollo militias in collaboration with JEM and SPLA-N had captured Tonga from our freedom fighters.I’M now at front line around Malakal,your militias were badly repulsed with more casualties on your sides while our gallantry forces captured some of them alive with numerous heavy weapons,ammunition and cars mounted with machine guns.Think twice otherwise u will regret.

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  • 6 April 06:41, by Majongdit

    The Greater Upper Nile is inhabited by Shilluk, Murle, Jie, Anyuak, Dinka, Nuer. Dr Riek is misleading Nuer youths that they can wipe out everyone from Renk to Bor and from Pochalla to Maban. In fact they try to rename places like Malakal and Bor. The nuer are teaching violence. Bcoz of Nuer, the murle youths are now wild. The Bor youths have also taken arms now. Shilluk youth are now getting arme

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    • 6 April 08:04, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      You are right on that Majongdit,Bortown and its vicinities will be no go zone very soon. we have got more than nine battalions, this number plus Bhar el Ghazal half a million soilders is enough to secure Bor and Kiir’s presidency even if Equatoria join Riek’s movement. Iam confident, the government will be stable for some years.

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  • 6 April 06:47, by Majongdit

    Dr Riek solicited for guns and he distributed them to Nuer youths in Upper Nile state and Jonglei. Peter Gatdet who was the div. commander in Jonglei took all the arms that were taken from armed youths during the disarmament and he went again and distributed them to Nuer youths. Shilluk and Dinka youths must be given guns to protect their people and property.

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  • 6 April 07:21, by Jalaby

    Sure, this news comes with no surprise at all, the south is failed country and the central government lost the power over the country and allowed Ugandans,SPLA-N,JEM, and many other mercenaries to fight rebel on behalf of them!
    Shulluk are one of the S Sudanese tribe that live very close to the border with Sudan and have interference with many Sudanese tribes!

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    • 6 April 07:29, by Jalaby

      My advice to Chulluk to jump quickly from that drowning ship before it’s too late and submit a petition to Sudanese people for joining them and become north for good,Sudanese people will accept them but without Pagan Amom because he was the one who damaged the relationship between NCP & SPLA/M and poisoned it after CPA was signed!
      Absolutely,Dr Lam Akol is welcome too

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      • 6 April 11:38, by Majongdit

        Jalaby,
        I think you have not made up your mind. Yesterday you were supporting the South Sudanese Gov’t, today you are just spread all over.
        I heard your father is Nuer...born out of wedlock. In Khartoum, they call them, "yal aram"

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    • 6 April 08:03, by william

      Hello jalaba You said South is a failed state what Is your concern here? You were been feeding on it for decades but are still deadly instable. Please mind your dirty business.

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  • 6 April 17:55, by Kim Deng

    The other coward Jurs have only two choices, either to remain neutral and watch the dirty war or join the coward Jaang/Slaves. Had the Nuer ever wished to occupy the whole greater Upper Nile, from Renk to Mading Bor and from Ruweng/Biemnom to Buma-Gambella, it seems unlikely that the other coward Jurs (Jaang, Teet, Bar, Chai…) could have stopped them.

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  • 6 April 22:05, by Ross

    The Mighty Nuer is happy that Shilluk has joined the Dinka be let them move out from Upper Nile or perish. Nuer will wipe all shilluk and Dinka from Greater Upper Nile hundred percent.

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