Home | News    Wednesday 16 July 2014

South Sudan acquires more weapons amid rebel protests

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July 15, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese rebels have protested against the recent acquisition of more weapons from China by the South Sudanese government, describing it as a preparation for more violence to further destroy the country.

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Soldiers from the South Sudan army (SPLA) patrol the streets in the Upper Nile state capital, Malakal, on 21 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Charles Lomodong)

The armed opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) under the leadership of the former vice-president, Riek Machar, was reacting to the recent documented revelation in which the South Sudanese government had received a shipment of huge quantity of missiles, grenade launchers, machine guns and ammunition worth $38 million from the Asian nation.

South Sudanese defence minister Kuol Manyang Juuk has also confirmed to Bloomberg news agency the purchase of the weapons, which the China North Industries Group Corp., the nation’s biggest arms manufacturer known as NORINCO, shipped through Port Mombassa of Kenya last month.

“My role is to defend the nation,” Juuk said. “That means I have to arm my army. The army has to be equipped,” he said.

The rebels, however, accused the government of preparing for more war at the expense of the nation’s welfare.

“Well, our leadership sees this unfortunate development as a preparation for more violence by the regime,” Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune when contacted on Tuesday to comment on how the leadership of the opposition group received the news.

“The regime has unfortunately prioritized hiring foreign mercenaries and acquiring weaponry to defend dictatorship at the expense of welfare of the citizens.”

“Instead of trying to correct their failures and deliver the badly needed basic services to the suffering South Sudanese people, the leadership in Juba is bent to further destroy the country,” he added.

Dak questioned the rationale behind the spending of hundreds of millions of US dollars more to acquire weapons and hiring and sustaining foreign army and mercenaries on an alleged deal which he said costs 3 million dollars a day “simply to fight against democratic political opponents while hundreds of citizens are dying every day because of hunger and curable diseases.”

“This is the reason why our leadership has always expressed the need to suspend the oil operations in South Sudan; or alternatively establish a special account through a trusted third party which should be inaccessible to the regime. This can deny president Salva Kiir’s government from using the oil revenues to finance the war,” he added.
He said the new development should serve as a reminder to the world that the government wanted to perpetuate the war.

BILLIONS SPENT ON WEAPONS

While humanitarian agencies appeal for 1.3 billion dollars for humanitarian intervention in the crisis, western diplomats have revealed that South Sudan government has already spent over a billion US dollars on weapons and delivery systems since the war broke out on 15 December 2013.

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general warned in April of famine should fighting continue in the country.

The money mainly comes from the oil revenues and advance loans in a country which depends on oil by 98% of its annual budgets.

China is one of the biggest buyers of oil from South Sudan, output of which has fallen by a third to about 160,000 barrels a day since fighting between President Salva Kiir’s government and insurgents loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar started six months ago.

Chinese foreign ministry officials in Beijing have repeatedly called for peace and an end to hostilities. Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, Xie Xiaoyan has worked with U.S., Norway and U.K. officials seeking to help resolve the conflict.

Protection of its oil investments and citizens is increasingly at the forefront of China’s interests in South Sudan.

China traditionally views its military ties with African governments to be in accordance with a policy of non-interference and respect for state sovereignty.

However, in the context of South Sudan, where atrocities have been committed by both sides of the conflict, this position may prove problematic for China — particularly as it continues to seek long-term peace and stability in South Sudan – and with US and EU imposing sanctions on the two warring parties.

South Sudanese defence minister Juuk explained his country preferred to buy weapons from China because Europe and the US don’t sell weapons to South Sudan.

“If they called me now to give me weapons I will go to America,” he said. “Please tell them, if they want me now I will go today,” he said.

The documents for the recent shipment of weapons by China included a detailed packing list of 9,574 automatic rifles, 2,394 grenade launchers, 4 million bullets for automatic rifles, 2 million rounds of pistol ammunition, 319 machine guns, 660 pistols, 20,000 rounds of 40-millimetre anti-personnel grenades and 4,000 rounds of 40-millimetre.

Another packing list, detailing goods worth $14.5 million, includes 100 anti-tank weapons systems, 1,200 anti-tank missiles and spare parts.

While marking the third anniversary of independence of South Sudan, rebel leader Riek Machar downplayed the significance of the sanctions imposed on the two warring parties by US and EU, saying an effective sanction would only come from the IGAD regional countries.

He said peace would speedily return to the young nation if Sudan and Kenya in particular took the courage to block oil flows and deny South Sudan access to the sea ports.

(ST)

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  • 16 July 09:37, by Augustino

    Right thing to do for the defend of the constitution of the country. Please do not talk come for peace because they are ready for it. Any aggression is to be dealt with weapons no option. You either come for peace or face it rough from kuol and Malong. No mercy anymore as we were buying peace for your ranks last time. To day is not yesterday. Nuer must suffer if they do not accept peace more next.

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    • 16 July 09:56, by Force 1

      The rebels are highly shortsighted; if the country armed itself; is it because the weapons can only be used against them? What if any of the neighboring countries evaded South Sudan? How is South Sudan going to defend itself if it’s an armed? The rebels should be happy that South Sudan would be capable of defending itself against any foreign evaders whether be it internal or external!

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      • 16 July 10:14, by Pinyin Gatkuoth

        Force 1
        Do u read the history of Nuer ? Nuer can never fear with Dinka from beginning of nature, whether Jieng was armed with Atomic Bomb they will never give up dear. Look the white armies, how many tanks that they destroy from Gov’t force with AK47? They don’t fear because they hear it z those Tanks was driven by Dinka.
        Even the Missiles z was given to Gov’t by China will be the same. Quote my

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        • 16 July 10:42, by Mi diit

          Force 1,

          Kiir is a visionless dictator as the rebels call him. Which country is now at war with South Sudan to prioritize buying weapons with billions while citizens die of hunger, no salaries, etc? Is it not the internal kiir’s war to defend his job? What a wise leader does is to promote good relations with neighboring countries while promoting peace and development for his citizens.

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      • 16 July 10:15, by Mi diit

        Which country spends billions while its citizens are dying of hunger? Weapons do not shoot by themselves. They need courageous fighters behind them. Rebels will capture many of them. You talk of Nuer in general while its was Nuer Gen Hoth Mai and others who saved you in Juba on Dec. 15, till your foreign masters of UPDF took over up to now. What if Nuer soldiers & other 62 tribes defect from you?

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        • 16 July 11:33, by Rommel

          Mi diit:

          It’s interesting that Riek now wants regional actors to stop the flow of oil, ostensibly because he wants peace to prevail... but had absolutely no qualms with helping Khartoum gain and secure access to our oil. Riek was instrumental in Khartoum’s ability to purchase sophisticated weaponry during the war...

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          • 16 July 11:35, by Rommel

            .. And was therefore complicit in Khartoum’s war crimes. Khartoum wouldn’t have been able to prosecute the war the way they did without the helping hand of Riek and Matip. Khartoum prosecuted a war that was far more destructive and consumed infinitely more lives and yet Riek was their ally. Riek is a hypocrite...

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            • 16 July 11:36, by Rommel

              .. The only reason that he’s railing against the use of oil contingent funds by the ’government’ to purchase weaponry, is that his masters and allies aren’t using these funds against his enemies. Where was this concern during the war!? Why didn’t he raise the issue of services delivery when Khartoum was using 80% of the budget to prosecute a terrible war on the South!?

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              • 16 July 11:37, by Rommel

                Why didn’t he condemn Khartoum for funding, training, arming and unleashing Arab militias to devastate populations on the border, when he very well knew that the necessary resources to arm the Murahaleen came almost entirely from our oil!? A 100, 000 people died [in a man-made famine] in 1998 when Riek was still an ally of the Ignaz Nazis.

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                • 16 July 11:46, by Rommel

                  You are beyond delusional. James Hoth Mai [as capable as he is] did not single-handledly ’save’ the Juba regime. There were many other Generals on the ground that salvaged the situation. ’What if Nuer soldiers & other 62 tribes defect from you?’ You do realise that the Equatorian defence force [EDF] was on your side during the war and you still didn’t win...

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                  • 16 July 11:52, by Rommel

                    .. And you had the SAF, the PDF, and the various Baggara Arab tribes on your side. Pray tell, when you allied yourselves with Khartoum during the war, was that fair? You are in no position to rail against alliances; your alliance with the Arabs claimed hundreds of thousands of Dinka lives. Don’t complain.

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          • 16 July 11:41, by Mi diit

            Rommel,

            Don’t you see that you sound foolish by always, and I mean always, dwelling on what had happened 23 years ago, when we are supposed to talk of what is happening today in order to resolve it? Are you saying the present should not be corrected as long as those wanting to correct it had some mistakes made in the past?

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            • 16 July 11:46, by Mi diit

              Ok, continue to live in your small world of tribalism in which you are a slave of the past. Let me remind you, none of our leaders, past and present, dead or alive, were/are free from making mistakes. But this should not prevent us from correcting bigger mistake or crime like what Salva Kiir has committed.

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              • 16 July 11:52, by Mi diit

                I don’t want to waste my time trying to explain to you the unavoidable circumstances that made Dr. Riek to ally with Khartoum 23 yrs ago because you are not ready to listen. How about Kiir now damning the nation and allying with a foreign army and rebels to kill his own people? Should this not be the present focus?

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              • 16 July 11:59, by Rommel

                Mi diit:

                Ah, so it was all fine and dandy when the Dinka were Khartoum’s primary target during the war? It was all but acceptable when we lost 100, 000 people in 1998 after your allies [the SAF and the Murahaleen] savaged our population on the border? Stop pretending that you [of all people] are opposed to tribalism. You are one of the biggest tribalists on this website.

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                • 16 July 12:03, by Rommel

                  Your new mantra must be "look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent underneath". I remember when you very much resembled the Jihadist; you were just as fanatical, just as irreverent, just as monomaniacal and would just as quickly issue obscene threats and ’prophecies’ against other tribes. Would the real Mi diit please stand up?

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                  • 16 July 12:06, by Rommel

                    Unlike you, I don’t believe that anyone has been prophesied by a tribal ’prophet’ to lead this country. I don’t believe that this ’prophet’ can curse sections of of other tribes with unseemly physical traits [like bad teeth]; and I don’t believe that "It will be the Murle and Bor to reap the ugly sour grape when the dust has settled sometime very near."

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                • 16 July 12:08, by Mi diit

                  Don’t lie by selling a wrong impression to readers as if all the Dinka were fighting the war and all the Nuer were with Khartoum. I want to remind you that senior Dinka politicians like Abel Alier, George Kongor, Moses Machar were Khartoum’s vice presidents from 1970s to 1990s when the “Dinkas” were being killed by Khartoum.

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                  • 16 July 12:11, by Rommel

                    Mi diit:

                    The fact that the traitors that you mentioned were Dinka has absolutely no bearing on the Dinka community, as they were not provided with material or personnel from the Dinka tribe. Did these men have tens of thousands of Dinka militiamen that were compliant with Khartoum?

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                    • 16 July 12:15, by Rommel

                      Throughout the fighting, not one war casualty was admitted to the Nasir hospital. Riek’s troops sat idle as Khartoum pushed back the Dinka. The results of Riek’’s sell-out to Khartoum could not have been more glaring. The Dinka suffered mightily. (Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda, Scott Peterson)

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                  • 16 July 12:12, by Mi diit

                    …Those Dinka leaders plus countless Dinka army generals and soldiers, police, civil servants, etc, were working with Khartoum, formulating policies to wage an effective war against the so-called “Dinkas” fighting in South Sudan. Also don’t forget that there were Nuers fighting alongside Dinkas in South Sudan in their thousands, including Gen Hoth Mai, Gen Kong Nyuon, Gen Koang Chol, etc.

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                    • 16 July 12:16, by Mi diit

                      ...So the matter was not a clear cut in which all the Nuers were with Khartoum and all the Dinkas were fighting in South Sudan against Khartoum. Even when Dr. Riek went to Khartoum he went with additional Dinka leaders including late Kerubino Kwany, Arok Thon, Samuel Aru, etc. Stop such lies and misleading impressions!

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                      • 16 July 12:56, by Mi diit

                        Whether or not those Dinka prominent leaders mobilized thousands of Dinka youth is not the issue. They contributed to creation of hash policies that killed Dinka youth in their thousands in South Sudan. They also helped the Nuer with Khartoum by providing them with weapons to kill their fellow Dinkas. Hundreds of thousands of Dinka civilians were also living in Khartoum with them.

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                    • 16 July 12:22, by Rommel

                      Mi diit:

                      Other than Kerubino [who was disowned by the Dinka] list and name the other ’countless’ Dinka Generals that actually had armies with them. Dinka politicians joined Riek but they had no armies of their own. There’s absolutely no evidence of a Dinka militia that worked with Khartoum.

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                      • 16 July 12:28, by Rommel

                        Every community has its share of traitors an opportunists, but the Dinka *individuals* that you mentioned did not attract Dinka recruits. We didn’t fight for these men. Arok Thon Arok was hunted down by Bior Ajang Duot — his own uncle. When the SPLA attacked the Nasir meeting in Panyangor, Arok was a legitimate target.

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                        • 16 July 12:38, by Rommel

                          The various Nuba tribes were the second largest component in the SPLA. Your contribution after the 1991 split was derisory. James Hoth Mai and his small handful of Nuer troops were the only exception. Do you really want to compare the small handful of Nuer troops under Hoth to entire Dinka divisions?

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                          • 16 July 13:07, by Mi diit

                            Rommel,
                            It was Dinka’s tribalism that prevented the politicians with Dr. Riek to mobilize their youth. The Dinka youth knew Riek was the chairman, which they didn’t want. The Dinka leaders with Dr Riek knew about this and simply decided to play political roles. With those Dinka leaders in Khartoum they made weapons available to Nuer to kill Dinkas (a great bearing on Dinka community).

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                            • 16 July 13:18, by Rommel

                              Mi diit:

                              Dinka ’tribalism’ was to blame, was it? Did this ’tribalism’ become an issue when thousands of Dinka civilians were targeted and killed in Abiemnom, Pariang, Canal Khorfulus, Duk, Twic East and Bor? What about the attacks against Dinka communities in Bahr el Ghazal? Dinka politicians only started leaving the Nasir faction after it became clear that the Dinka were the target.

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                              • 16 July 13:24, by Mi diit

                                Rommel,

                                So agree me on tribalism, ah! What you need to acknowledge is that the Dinkas were divided into Khartoum and SPLM/A controlled areas. Hundreds of Dinkas were living in Khartoum supporting the government. Some were directly recruited into SAF and fought against other Dinkas in South Sudan. Others were with SPLM/A and fought against Khartoum.

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                                • 16 July 13:28, by Mi diit

                                  Mind you, if Salva Kiir, who was also a Khartoum’s spy in Malakal before 1983, had defected in Yei 2004 when he quarreled with late Garang, and joined Khartoum like he almost did, you would have seen tens of thousands of Dinka Bahr el Ghazal youth joining him and flocking to Khartoum, knowing a Dinka is the chairman. Dinka youth always follow a Dinka leader. This what matters to them.

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                                • 16 July 13:32, by Rommel

                                  Mi diit:

                                  Oh, you are desperate, aren’t you? At no point during the war did our youths willingly join the SAF. No Dinka in his right mind would do such a thing. Southern teenagers were occasionally kidnapped and conscripted into the armed forces by Khartoum, but that is not all comparable to 50, 000 Bul Nuer troops working hand in hand with Khartoum and Arab militias.

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                                  • 16 July 13:43, by Rommel

                                    There’s no evidence that Salva Kiir ever worked for Khartoum as a ’spy’. Salva Kiir was a member of the underground movement; the underground movement was set up by Dr. John Garang almost immediately after the Addis Ababa agreement was signed. Its members included Kerubino, Arok Thon Arok, William Nyuon Bany, Chagai Atem, Francis Ngor Machiek and Salva Kiir.

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                                    • 16 July 14:01, by Rommel

                                      You seem to want to forget that when prominent Generals from Bahr el Ghazal went against Dr. John Garang, the youth of Bahr el Ghazal did not follow them. When Kerubino was arrested by Dr. John Garang, why didn’t the people of Bahr el Ghazal overthrow Garang when they were the clear majority?

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                                      • 16 July 14:12, by Rommel

                                        Many Nuer who rallied to the Nasir commanders did so because they thought that now the Nuer would rule as the Dinka were accused of ruling before. (The Root Causes Of Sudan’s Civil Wars: Peace Or Truce, Douglas H Johnson)

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                              • 16 July 13:27, by Rommel

                                Dinka politicians were not the ones that initially contacted Khartoum; Taban Deng Gai was in charge of securing access to weapons from Khartoum. This isn’t like when you can interpret Ngundeng’s songs and twist them to your liking...

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                                • 16 July 13:59, by Mi diit

                                  Rommel,
                                  Ah, poor Rommel. Quickly provide me with evidence that Salva Kiir was not a Khartoum’s spy in Malakal and was working for “underground movement.” Give me that document now, or you are liar with no evidence. Kiir was employed by Khartoum’s intelligence. Also whether the Dinkas youth were only thousands and forced into SAF didn’t matter. Even Bul youth were forced to join Matip.

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                                  • 16 July 14:12, by Mi diit

                                    Rommel,
                                    You are such a shameless lair to deny that Salva Kiir used to work in SAF military intelligence in the rank of captain before he joined the SPLM/A. Kiir was a spy for Khartoum as his job clearly proved. I am waiting for your evidence which shows he worked for “underground movement’ set up by Garang. Remember that late Garang also worked for Khartoum’s military before 1983’s rebellion.

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                                    • 16 July 14:21, by Mi diit

                                      Mr. Liar Rommel, tell me what was Salva Kiir’s job in Sudan before he joined the SPLM/A in 1983? I am waiting for your answer, or you have lost the debate?

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                                    • 16 July 14:28, by Rommel

                                      Mi diit:

                                      You are hilarious in your persistent stupidity. There’s no evidence that Salva Kiir worked for Khartoum when he was integrated into the SAF as an Anya-Nya 1 soldier. Anya-Nya 1 soldiers were absorbed into the SAF and assumed the position and roles that they had in Anya-Nya 1.

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                                      • 16 July 14:34, by Rommel

                                        The most notable of these underground movements was that of the Anya-Nya absorbed forces with junior officers like Francis Ngor Machiek, Salva Kiir Mayardit and Chagai Atem. (A Concise History of South Sudan)

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                                        • 16 July 14:42, by Rommel

                                          Dr. John Garang and Salva Kiir were members of the underground movement, and were planning the revolution prior to the outbreak of the war in 1983. There is absolutely no evidence that they ever worked for Khartoum. Ps: I never conceded that ’thousands’ of Dinka youth ever joined the SAF — willingly or not. The Nuer willingly joined the many Khartoum compliant militias in the South.

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                                          • 16 July 14:48, by Rommel

                                            I could never lose in a debate against you. The possibility of that ever happening is akin to the possibility of the sun rising from the west. Do you understand? You are not a challenge and you bore me.

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                                            • 16 July 19:22, by Mi diit

                                              Rommel,

                                              You are such a freaky argumentative human being with comments that look like doggerel. What is the difference between Salva Kiir of Anya-nya II who joined SAF and was assigned as spy (military intelligence) for 10 years and Salva Kiir who was recruited into SAF? They are all the same! I want evidence of "underground movement" lie.

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                                              • 16 July 20:27, by Rommel

                                                Mi diit:

                                                Can you read? I already provided you with evidence that he was a member of the underground movement. I cited a book affirming precisely just that. Salva Kiir was not recruited into the SAF, you idiot. As a member of Anya-nya *1*, he was absorbed into the SAF, per the terms of the Addis Ababa Agreement.

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                                                • 16 July 20:43, by Rommel

                                                  Being absorbed and integrated into the armed forces, as required by the terms of a peace Agreement is not at all comparable to freely volunteering your services as a soldier of another armed force... That you would even argue this point necessarily means that you’re an idiot.

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                • 16 July 13:09, by Rami Tot

                  Romel

                  we was alied to fight you dinka base on ethnic dimension as what you are now doing by hiring mercenaries to kill your own people or you guys don,t feel Nuer are your brothers of not you are very weak on the community side in which will force us to unit one more again we better die once and never again, for what you will know is that there is no way to met you on fight
                  we are ready for you.

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      • 16 July 10:23, by Chol A.

        If that irritated you rebels than lay down your weapon and joint government as "one nation one people" and these weaponries will be belong to us all as S.S, otherwise you will face defeat with no more complaints. Do you want to hit government troops with heavy weapons while they use simple weapon to fights against you? No way, fight is fights anyone can use whatever power you had to defeat enemie

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    • 16 July 10:16, by Pinyin Gatkuoth

      Augustino
      Do u read the history of Nuer ? Nuer can never fear with Dinka from beginning of nature, whether Jieng was armed with Atomic Bomb they will never give up dear. Look the white armies, how many tanks that they destroy from Gov’t force with AK47? They don’t fear because they hear it z those Tanks was driven by Dinka.Even the Missiles z was given to Gov’t by China will be the same. Quote

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    • 16 July 13:13, by Rami Tot

      FYI
      we have killed over hundred soldiers from their way back to Bentiu yesterday if you have your brother there confirm his fate and safety we are not going to comprise you more you will be overan soon

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  • 16 July 11:01, by BM Bol

    The government is doing a very poor job in explaining the purchasing of these weapons. Per the report that was published a week ago, the weapons were purchased November 8 of last year prior to war breaking out. The weapons were supposed to be shipped to South Sudan by late Jan. or Feb, but were delayed due to war. the government should encounter the false reports out there with details.

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    • 16 July 11:33, by Mi diit

      BM whatever,

      Your attempt to explain or justify the unnecessary purchase of the weapons makes the matter even worse. If they ordered for such weapons in November 2013 this means Salva Kiir was preparing for the 15 December war, which he started. This is why he also deployed Ugandan forces two days before the crisis as revealed by the rebels. Why buy weapons when you cannot feed citizens?

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      • 16 July 12:32, by BM Bol

        Go and read the report yourself. It’s published last week and the memo is out there.

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  • 16 July 12:23, by wang

    They are happy today, but would cry tomorrow when someone helps the Freedom fighters….this genocide regime in Juba are making the matter worse to themselves…

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    • 16 July 14:05, by Gangura

      Dear Doctor Machar do not worry it is not gun fighting it is heart which is fighting though Dinkas go and parchuse guns from insreal or anywhere of the world still we the citizens will never accept Kirr or any Dinka again to rule us, we are real tired of the nosense. you Nuer are better than Dinkas that why we Equatorians wants your reuling.

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  • 16 July 14:56, by Alfredo christiani

    To:Rami tot /Wang /Midiit

    Hahahaha fools are finishing themselves in Bentiu and Nasir ,those who are currenty fighting on both side are Nuers sons ya dogs . hahahahahahhha SPLA OYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE kiir mayardit oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, no compromise to them .let them come back or perish all .

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  • 16 July 18:26, by Dengic

    Mi Diit, you truly pointed out that all people are prone to make mistakes,the question is why repeating the same mistake?..Remember an English saying that a mistake is not a mistake unless it is repeated....Most South Sudanese including myself were able to forgive you and your boss Machar,but why killing innocent civilians again this time?...Will that be the way you guys shall reform the Country

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  • 16 July 20:46, by Kerem

    You Nuers, just continue beating your drum of Dinka-Nuer war but remember that Lakes, Warrap, Western Bargazal and Northern Barghazal have not been mobilized to fight Nuer. But as the drum you are beating sounds louder, you will soon dance into your own tune. Your foolish civilians stupidly listens to their indirect murderer (Riek in this case)

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