Home | News    Friday 3 April 2015

Top S. Sudan army general dies in ambush attack

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April 2, 2015 (JUBA) – A high-ranking South Sudanese military commander allied to president Salva Kiir’s government has died after he was allegedly ambushed in Upper Nile state by government forces.

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Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) sit on a pick-up truck during a patrol in Upper Nile state Malakal on 21 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Harrison Ngethi)

Major General Bwogo Olieu was killed on Wednesday when gunmen opened fire at his military convoy while on an inspection visit on the outskirts of the state capital, Malakal town, officials said.

Olieu, who was the second in command of the government allied militia forces under the overall command of Major General Johnson Olony, was killed at around 2:00pm on Wednesday at Lul Bridge, located 35 kilometers north of Malakal town towards Akoka.

Local sources said the general, who hails from the minority Shilluk ethnic group in the area was shot dead together with several of his soldiers after a dispute allegedly erupted with soldiers from the Dinka ethnic group over ownership of a tribal territory.

Military sources claimed the general was among 13 fighters killed with him in the clashes.

State officials could not immediately explain the circumstances surrounding his death, saying it remained unclear.

Upper Nile state information minister, Peter Hoth Tuach told Sudan Tribune on Thursday during an exclusive interview that the death of the general was “a terrible tragedy” but asserted that the government had sent in “enough forces to contain the situation from spiraling out of control.”

The state government spokesperson said the death of the senior army officer created tensions within the government’s controlled Malakal town.

“It was a terrible day yesterday (Wednesday). The death of Major [General] Bwogo created a tension not only in the place where the incident took place but also here in Malakal town,” he said.

He said there was great panic as people had to run to protection camp of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), adding the situation had however returned to normal.

“It is relatively quiet and has calmed down a little bit at the moment,” he added.

Tuach said the state authorities made contacts with the national government and the army until it was resolved to send enough forces to contain the situation from spiraling out of control.

The state official spokesman further added the cause of the killing was not clear, although unconfirmed reports from local authorities indicated that the ambush was allegedly carried out by an armed pro-government youth group from the Dinka ethnic group of Akoka county.

Local sources said the Dinka group thought the commander was involved in the local dispute over the stretch of a disputed area in favour of his Shilluk community.

The spokesperson of the South Sudanese army, Colonel Philip Aguer also confirmed the incident, describing the killing of General Bwogo as unfortunate but said he was still waiting for more details from the local command in order to ascertain what caused the clashes between the allied forces.

The local ethnic militia forces, mainly from the Shilluk ethnic group, have been allied to president Kiir’s government in which they have also involved in the recent offensives in the state against the rebel forces led by former vice-president Machar.

Observers said the death of the second top general of the militia group in the hands of the alleged pro-government group may cause a rift within the allied forces unless measures were quickly taken to resolve the misunderstanding.

Shilluk and Dinka ethnic groups in Upper Nile state have had violent conflict over the ownership of certain territories along their common borders.

(ST)

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  • 2 April 2015 13:16, by hamil

    This is good news we want to see more generals dying I don’t support Riek or Kiir I am a sympathizer of the suffering innocent citizens of South Sudan and demand justice for the innocent souls lost in cold blood

    repondre message

  • 2 April 2015 13:26, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Gen. Bwogo Olieu, death is very unfortunate, but tought measure must be taken against those fighters, and I want to assure the public that government forces should not attempt to killed General Olieu, of course those might be rebels involved in the fighting.

    repondre message

    • 2 April 2015 13:56, by Mayom County Boy

      General Bwogo Olieu death is a tragic lose from government side.
      Almighty father may rest his soul in peace to heaven
      Amen!

      repondre message

  • 2 April 2015 14:54, by Thondet Manyang

    Those who celebrate the death of someone are Devils. Do you think you won dye? If so, I don’t think shall be happy upto such a level.

    repondre message

    • 2 April 2015 15:06, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      R.I.P Mr: general, your killers will be apprehanded and put on trial. MR: president I Recommend Peter Hoth Tuac for promotion.He is really good at narrating events/accounts.

      repondre message

  • 3 April 2015 11:14, by Ambago

    It is worth emphasizing General Bwogo Olieu died in the hands of the enemies who have historically tried to dislodge the Chollo from their ancestral lands !

    This is how the Great Warrior will always be remembered in the Chollo land and beyond. Many more Bwogo Olieus shall rise up to continue defending Chollo people, their lands and their properties. Death is painful,but his family must be proud

    repondre message

  • 3 April 2015 15:00, by Hardlinner

    Those criminals should be apprehended and send to court to face law. If they want to kill, why can’t they go after riek rebeles. They should have claim their right through legal mean not through criminal activities.

    repondre message

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