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South Sudan president assigns top allied military commander

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September 27, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, has issued a republican order assigning a high ranking allied militia commander to the highest military command of the national army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), in the country.

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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, who rarely appears in military fatigues, addresses the nation in December 16, 2013 (Reuters)

In an order broadcast by the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV) on 23 September, president Kiir assigned allied militia commander, Lieutenant General, Bapiny Monytuil, as SPLA deputy chief of general staff for moral orientation.

The unexpected move, although commended by some officials, sparked suspicions of the commitment of the president and his regime to transform the national army into a conventional and formidable professional force in the country.

Bapiny is the elder brother to Unity state’s governor, Joseph Nguen Monytuil, who comes from Bul-Nuer section, one of the largest clans in the ten major sections of the ethnic Nuer community in the country.

The head of state, in another order, promoted from the rank of commander to Lieutenant General, James Gai Yoach, another militia commander who defected from the rebel forces in June 2014 and joined the government.

The order instructed the chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan, to find Yoach an assignment and reintegrate his forces into the national army.

Bapiny was one of the militia commanders in the oil-producing Unity state who took up arms against the government in 2011 and fought under the umbrella of the defunct South Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SSLM/A) led by Peter Gatdet in protest of the way the state was managed under the leadership of the former governor, Taban Deng Gai.

The group later on refined the objective of the movement to fighting against autocracy, alleged bad system of governance, corruption and Dinka ethic dominance in managing the affairs of the country.

However, president Kiir in April 2012 after negotiations which were run through community figures with the knowledge of key government officials, including high ranking military officers, issued an order pardoning at least six militia commanders and asked for the reintegration into the army of fighters of two key rebel groups that have accepted his amnesty offer and laid down their arms.

Kiir pardoned six militia leaders and their forces in April and asked them to return to the fold. The reintegration was granted to forces of Bapiny and Johnson Olony. Four other rebel leaders covered by the amnesty at the time included Gordong Kong Chol, David Yau-Yau, Oyuok Ogot and Munto Abdhalla Munto and their forces.

Gordon Buay, former spokesperson of the leadership council of the defunct SSLM/A, now a representative of the government’s mission to the United States of America, commended the president for the assignment of Bapiny as the deputy chief of general staff for morale orientation, asserting that such assignment would now consolidate cohesion of the command.

“The president made a commendable decision and he should be congratulated. This is a wise and strategic assignment. It will consolidate cohesion of the command,” Buay told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

“I congratulate General Bapiny on his assignment. I have no doubt he would perform to the best of his ability in the interest of the country in that position. He has always demonstrated his loyalty to the government and the leadership of President Salva Kiir in the war against the country,” he said.

He asserted that the army has been able to push away the rebel forces allied to the former vice president, Riek Machar, in Unity state because of the popularity and loyalty of the forces under the overall command of Mathews Puljang, who is one of the commanders in the area under Bapiny.

The Bul-Nuer militia forces, have been known for allying with president Kiir’s forces and armed Dinka civilians from Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal, to recapture towns and villages from the opposition forces in Unity state.

(ST)

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  • 28 September 2015 04:19, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

    Bravo both the President & the new Deputy Chief of Gen Staff for winning the truth! Patriotism to defend the nation depends on those who prioritize public interest & are flexible in times of changes. Hard work pays & hurry hurry has not blessings. We must obey & correct the incumbent govt so that they do similar when their time elapses hence lasting peace.

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    • 28 September 2015 07:42, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      Giving asignment to Nuer by the president is asign of peace among the south Sudanese but the local communities or youth from Dinka tribes saying they do not have any trust in Nuer,and this issues need to be adress by the president or the jang elders otherwise there will be no peace or waste of time

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  • 28 September 2015 06:30, by Augustino

    A commenttable move to promote a loyalist and a hard worker commander Mr Bapiny Monytuil. I thank him and pour him a million congratulations for his win in professional field. President is a visionary leader for all South Sudanese. SPLA Oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

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    • 28 September 2015 15:27, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      That’s a good policy by president .
      Is show the conformity of the army and even the national career will not same again.

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  • 28 September 2015 20:13, by lino

    The Governor is not getting the post any more if peace got implemented.
    That is the reason the whole family are moving to Juba; the rebels are coming to rule this State Mnytuils!!!

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