Home | News    Wednesday 23 February 2011

UN offers mediation between renegade General Athor and South Sudan


By Ngor Arol Garang

February 22, 2011 (ABYEI) — Weeks after renewed armed clashes in the southern state of Jonglei between armed elements loyal to renegade General George Athor Deng and forces belonging to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in Fangak County, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) presented a proposal seeking to end the rebellion against the regional government.

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SPLA Brig. Gen. Michael Majur, left, shakes hands with Abraham Thon, right, representative of rebel leader Lt. Gen. George Athor, after signing a ceasefire agreement in Juba, Jan. 5, 2011. (AP)

Athor, who was one of the senior SPLA generals and one of the zonal commanders close to the late SPLM/A leader John Garang, operating between three states of Greater Upper Nile States, during more than two decades of civil war, against the north, became a rebel commander operating against the Juba based government, after a losing a gubernatorial seat for Jonglei during the April 2010 general elections.

He was one of the senior SPLM members who contested the race independently, after failing to secure approval of their candidatures and disowned by political the bureau months prior to the elections.

Launching rebellion against the government of south Sudan after the results were announced in favour of the official nominee, incumbent Jonglei state Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk, Athor’s forces clashed several times with SPLA forces, resulting in a number of soldiers being killed and others sustaining serious injuries on both sides.

In October, just three months prior to the conduct of the January vote on self determination for the people of South Sudan, President Kiir issued an executive order pardoning Athor and his forces. The presidential order also covered other militia leaders including Gabriel Tanyinyang whose forces clashes several times in Malakal town, capital of the Upper Nile state, resulting into scores being killed and several others sustaining injuries.

The order which received remarkable welcome from the general public was meant to reconcile political differences among political leaders and factions, in order to forge a way forward to achieving peace and stability in the region. However, the decree included some reservations demanding armed elements loyal to Athor to lay down their arms before joining the SPLA - a demand Athor viewed as not protecting the fate of his forces. Athor requested that the president amend the decree in order cover the fate of his forces and some of his political supporters.

Additionally, the president formed a high level delegation committee compromising of two bishops and generals to discuss with him ways to end violence in the area. On 5 January 2011, the government signed the ceasefire with the SPLA allowing forces to withdraw from areas previously controlled by either side and recommended some of the sites as transitory assembly points.

However, on 9 February 2011 spokesman of the renegade group, Dok James Puok, in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Juba accused the SPLA of having staged an attack on three different locations controlled by forces loyal to them. A charge SPLA spokesman, Colonel Phillip Aguer, in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune was quick to deny and accused Athor to having initiated the attack that resulted in the killing of 211 and wounding of several others on both sides.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune on Monday night, Dok James Puok, who did not want to give his whereabouts, said they have been contacted by UNMIS with a proposal to mediate peace between them and the Government of South Sudan (GoSS).

"The United Nations Mission in Sudan has contacted us with a proposal to mediate peace and we accepted. We are open to peace. We have never rejected any peaceful dialogue because this is what our people want", said Puok.

Attempts made by Sudan Tribune on Monday to contact official spokesman of the GoSS, Marial Benjamin Bil, minister of information and broadcasting failed.


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  • 23 February 2011 06:58, by Jeti

    Gen. George Athor.

    South Sudanese still have love of you. Please leave the bush and come to the city for dialogue. The South Sudan you fought for 21 years is now flowing with honey and milk while you are lingering in the jungles of Jonglei.
    Those who are enjoying your sweat are militias and food lovers who defected and fought against you during the 21 years struggle.

    One day you will govern Jonglei State, hopefully.

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    • 23 February 2011 07:14, by dengtaath

      Ha, you lair, no body love George Athor any more, the massacre of Pangak people with no reason will never be forgotten. Ok, let watch what the government will do.

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      • 23 February 2011 09:40, by Mr Point

        Can a general, who has murdered so many of his fellow citizens, carry on in a democratic state?

        I’m not talking about Gadhaafi but about George Athor.

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      • 23 February 2011 11:01, by Jurdit Mayen

        MR Athor should wait in the bush until we decided the time to call him back to come and participate in the newest state of south Sudan.If u accept negotiation, then u are a stupid general.

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      • 23 February 2011 19:17, by mijok dongwei

        Un offers for peacefull settlement of the conflict, is welcome by all southerns sudanese concerns citizens about the impact of the military confrontation, b/n the Renegade General Athor and southern army.This time we need peace more than before, to build about to be born new country. That needs everyone and individuals to contributes tremeduosly for the developments of our coutry. Instance, of waging unessary war within ourselves. peacefull settlements is only option for this war,rather than military option

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      • 24 February 2011 19:33, by Dinka Aliap Chawul


        The better thing about wisdom is a man control his nose’s direction,i dont see they reasons why u revolts against Jeti when he expose his advisory skill to renegade leader Athor,in fact the wasn’t praising what militias done to Pangak including rest of the affected areas but only he was using his mentallity if something good can comeout of it.

        On my position;

        Reasonably,the today rebells in Darfur were just start like Athor did & everybody amongst us here know what happen there to be honest,simply because United Nations anyway let we call them what the calls themselves(not fully united since each/section of the nation persue difference policies towards difference regime even when it means development of WMD(weapons of mass destruction) or Nuclear weapon(NW).Am saying if Athor is to deleted completely,we better use military ones not roundtable discussion starting from GoSS,because has harbour lots of pro-Athors in it and this a reason why he had never been kiled/arrested in all the attempts by SuperSPLA.

        Am totally fed-up of killing of innocents by those who wants inclusion into power,Shame on GoSS...............................

        Get me at dinkaalpayo@rocketmail.com

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    • 23 February 2011 07:18, by superior Junibi

      Athor rebellion as South Sudan opposition parties backbone:

      South Sudan newborn democratic system was put to test last April when this nation held one of her first and very crucial election. Those of us who had never had a chance to choose their leaders did it for the first time and as a result, we were overwhelmingly excited. But we didn’t know we were getting cheated. Most citizens smelled hope and future as they prepared for the main event, secession vote. Unfortunately hope sometimes never stands when forces behind it have different agendas and or are devoted to personal interests other than national visions. The contents in this article contain facts that were obtained from legitimate South Sudan sources and author’s opinion. I am going to focus on why Athor rebelled? What did SPLM do to back fire his rebellion? Should South Sudan citizens support George Athor as their voice to change SPLM corrupt, undemocratic, and injustice system/practices?

      SPLM Tickets (Monkey Business)

      Last April election when well to well-wishers, but in reality was an outright mess. Most of these citizens pay little or no attention to how the SPLM so called Electoral Committee divided the movement and the citizens who gave all they had to protect this country. SPLM started to give endorsement or the SPLM tickets to few, before candidates had the opportunity to convince South Sudan citizens what they can do for them.
      Basically they elected candidates by giving them SPLM tickets before South Sudan citizens voted. All the current governors such as Taban Deng Gai Vs Angelina Teny, Kuol Manyang vs George Athor, and Malong Awan vs Dau Aturjong to mention few, were initially elected by the SPLM before we can cast our votes. So our votes didn’t even matter at the time even if we voted for Athor, Angelina, or Dau. So there were two elections, one by SPLM and second by us (citizens) just to show the international community that they let us voted. The current governors within all the ten Southern States were the anointed one!!!! This messy and tricky business came about as a fear factor from SPLM thinking they will loose most loyal SPLM candidates to opposition parties whom they didn’t trust. It was designed to block SPLM-DC candidates whom they expect might run for higher government positions. It turned out most of these candidates including George Athor were SPLM loyalist, most of whom protected the movement from birth. Ironically, they were playing with a double edged sword and they are about to cut their own throats with it. Isn’t South Sudan for all of us?? Does our government have to trust certain citizens and not others when they all did what was expected for them? We fought the NCP for this exact political treatment and God forbid it happened in South Sudan and SPLM did it!!!!!!!

      Let me provoke my readers. Put yourself in DAU, ATHOR, and ANGELINA’s shoes and ask yourself if that was you, what would you do??? I know some of you will say they will not rebelled, but let me tell you this fact my friends, freedom or change are not free!!!!!! Freedom or change took Dr Garang and SPLA heroes’ lives, Dr. Martin Luther king, and many more. George Athor might be on the right track. No sound minded Southern citizens could agree April 2010 election was a legitimate system South Sudan should install and use later in 2014 election. Some of you who are reading this piece will run for political offices later and I am sure you won’t want to face the same treatment. So, somebody got to correct this system and George Athor did the right thing.

      Politic gone wild

      Let’s focus by initially starting to provoke your thoughts on Angelina’s case. To those who don’t know who Angelina is; she is a wife of Dr. Riek, a number two man in South Sudan and in SPLM party. Normally as citizens we know when one of us runs the country; we expect him and his wife united, determined and committed to the party and the country at large. But in South Sudan it’s not like we thought it would hold. Angelina Teny, Dr Riek’s wife could not even get SPLM Ticket or endorsement in April Election from a party where her husband is a number two man in commend, till she had no choice but to ran as an independent candidate!!!!! The above mentioned example should by now have you thinking and raise more questions about who really is running SPLM then?? Are number one man (Salva) and the number two man (Riek) working together to safeguard our new born nation???

      SPLM and its electoral committee divided up its own members by appointing those they like and create a term for those they didn’t want as independent candidates. This plan was very tactical since they knew our population is not so far gone when it come to understanding politic. SPLM calculated that our uneducated citizens/voters will automatically assume independent candidates as none SPLM loyalists or traitors (Anyagats) coming from a character deformed SPLM-DC party of Dr. Lam Akol. Citizens took it exactly as SPLM expected and only informed few vote for independent candidates. In addition to that, they ridged the result to fully secure the anointed candidates. Their prediction combined with dirty hands made them won by 99.9%. I have never seen a country where human candidate can win with 100% if dirty hands were not counting the votes. This duress action was motivated by power hungriness. SPLM Elites have a very naïve thinking about Southern citizens that, we are the dumb majority and they are the smarter few who can manipulated us and lie to us so they can stay in power till they die.

      Some thugs within the SPLM party who are conspiracy theorists use SPLM powers to carry on their personal hate. Gier Chuang Aluong is a good example in this situation. This thug had carried out several stage executions of innocent citizens in Panyido, in Ethiopia. He was just in the came hunting for food and shooting people he don’t like in front of these kids so called Lost Boys while Goerge Athor was fighting the Arabs. That was a mere child abuse, and a crime against humanity. Now, he still has the same mentality and wants to use his personal hate against Gen Athor by using SPLM forces.
      Well George Athor is proving them wrong. He will be known in our independent South Sudan history as a first person to challenge SPLM corrupt and undemocratic system. He will be known as the voice of opposition and a father of multi-party system in South Sudan. South Sudan should not have one tribal SPLM party who is run by one man and his gangs. I argue all the Jonglei people, NUER, DINKA BOR, DINKA NGOK, MURLE, and ANYUAK to support General George Athor as a father of all the opposition parties. Let’s put tribalism aside, and let’s look at this opportunity as a future change for our kids and yours. Governor Kuol Manyang is a close relative to me, but I am not going to chose family over South Sudan future. I am not arguing anyone to use force to support Gen Athor, but to rally for peaceful settlement and joined his new born to be political party. Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile States could be categorically the best states to have overwhelming support for new South Sudan Democratic party. These States are very diverse and contain larger population. SPLM party need someone to force them provide services to the people or else get voted out of offices come 2014 by SSDP candidates.

      George Athor needs to cease hostilities and joint the government of South Sudan but not the SPLM. South Sudan Democratic party (SSDP) His new political party will act as the main largers opposition party to SPLM .It will be supported by DINKA NGOK, NUER, DINKA BOR, MURLE and many Southern citizens who have a democratic will. Those who belief in a full participation of all the Southern citizens should joint hand for peaceful settlement of Gen. George Athor rebellion. All the opposition parties should joint Athor’s up coming SOUTH SUDAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY (SSDP). By doing so, Southern citizens who want to run against SPLM candidates will have hope and run as SSDP candidates. They will never be send away as independent candidates. They will debate with SPLM candidates till citizens pick them.
      Long live Democratic change with in South Sudan

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      • 24 February 2011 19:43, by Dinka Aliap Chawul


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    • 23 February 2011 07:34, by unityfirst1

      In this twenty-first century,southerners should learn how to live in a peaceful way and equalize all the need for the all southerners,however they should leave all the primitive timer to the old age,there’s alot of reasonable issues and problems why someone like Athor should rebelled from the government and renegated himself against this administration,this current administration have done a lot of negative things and that’s why all the tribal within the south are murmuring into one another,blaming themselves for the mistake of one person.it will face them a lot of challenges in the future if they keep acting in the way they’re acting right now.believe me southern sudan rebellious will not end up of a peace treaty,someone else like Athor will pop up and wage a war against the corruption.
      OG unityfirst.

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    • 23 February 2011 07:35, by Nhomlawda

      Every dog has its own day. Come out of bush and return to follow your assets in Juba and elsewhere. Some people had begun to dance around hoping to take over your resources as soon as you are crushed in the bush.
      Please forget about Gier Chuang and Kuol Manyang being fired as pre-condition for your return to Juba. It sounds primitive and visionless to demand for their removals first before joining SPLA.
      Riek Machar and Lam Akol are here moving freely in the city. In 1990s, you and Kuol Manyang were fiercely fighting them in Upper Nile not to spoil South Sudan liberation but they are now enjoying it while you are lingering in the jungles of South Sudan after providing enormous contribution to this freedom traitors are enjoying.

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      • 23 February 2011 09:00, by Padiet Deng Alony

        You are right Nhamlawda

        No smoke with out fire, why people happy with killing of Athor while some triators who even killed more civilians then Athor are now enjoying in Juba the legacies of Athor.

        Do we want to kill Athor like those of:

        William Nyuon
        Kerbino Kuanyin etc

        Southern Sudan at this time need to seek way solving thier differences in peaceful manner rather then killing, killing.

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  • 23 February 2011 07:05, by Stephen kuach

    That should be a great thinking for you mr.Athor to make a peace deal with the southern sudan government and stop the violent against those innocent civilians,those civilians are becomes targeted without any help or defend from the government,remember when you was fighting with the northern government,you was fighting them because of their right and freedom.

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  • 23 February 2011 07:23, by Bol Deng

    Dear Southerners,

    SPLM/A respect general Athor Deng but he destroyed his reputation for just governorship.

    Athor has been approached not contest with Kuol Manyang and he was pushed by Nuer lou thugs and anti-SPLM/A to run against general Kuol Manyang.

    These spoilers of lou Nuer especially the fangak county generals, uror county, nyirol county,and the rest of have been with Jallaba as militia for so long astray Athor Deng to fight SPLA.

    Now, the fangak people keep supporting Athor and finally they had face the music like what had happened in Gajaak when the house the militia of Gai tut and Akuot Atem in their areas.

    The Goss of South Sudan should be careful on dealing with Athor because if the militia of Tanganyang provoke him,then he will be creating problem in the South because this man has been traumatized during the war.

    Athor Deng had dealed with Militia of Riek Machar and Sudan army for long and this is why he felt like overlooked by the SPLM in which he was dedicated for it since the beginning.

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    • 23 February 2011 12:48, by Historical Boy!

      Just push GOSS to bring Athor Deng and his militias home. Stop whinning and touching any red button. Athor is a Dinka and now you blame the Nuer for fooling him. When did that happen?

      Jonglei is on fire because the minority Dinka Bor leadership is incompetent to provide quality leadership and honesty.

      Good bye!

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      • 23 February 2011 20:36, by Nuer

        Bol Dog,

        Without Lou Nuer, your father Kuol Manyang would never smell that seat, Lou supported him, grantee him governorship, he knows the fact, if not Hussein Mar and Dr. Barnaba Marial, Kuol can’t maintain his seat, if he was Hussien not Athor, contested against Kuol, you bor could cry long back not today, Kiir repeat the same thing as in western Equatoria, by allowing Hussien to be the governor, Nuers or Lou in particular are the mojarity in the state, whoever, they vote for can win the election, so if you are arguing that , the Five Counties Fagak, Ayod, Wuror, Akoba, and Nyirol, plus his county Piggi, or Atiar,voted to Athor, which mean that Kuol loss the election or he rigged the election, because Lou alone double the four dinka counties 7 times.

        Come to your stupidest message about that nuer are militia, that is big dishonesty, since the formation of SPLM/A, Nuer were the one who fought that war, not you idiot dinka, Majak Agot, Abel Alier, Manyang Babour, Mathiang Babuor, Shiek Bei, to metion but few are all from Bor not even Dinka at large, and they all Arabs supporters, who is militia???? In Torit Faction alone Lou Nuer spla officers were over 80, before your fahter Kuol started killing them, by the way , you trying to reopened those old wounds, I think, Bor need to be set on fire than you will stop bal bala, illness comments.

        I have only written the truth. Let the Dinka deny. For your information Dinka do a lot of manual work. in most factories and warehouses in khartoum, they have replaced donkeys in carrying sacks of heavy stuff in and out of the place, their girls biching to get money, It is Bor women who always buy second hand, ask them, I understand second hand tooth brushes are popular in Bor town. You are a very primitive tribe even the rest of dinka fell shame on you and dinka nyonk of byei.

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    • 24 February 2011 01:40, by Aliny pathou

      Mr.Bol Deng
      you always after George Athor. consider, if you are given a credit card, and that credit card can’t buy anything with it, would you still say you have a credit card? i think not at all my friend. Athor is known in the history of liberation struggle. But, when it come to the time of sharing cake together as southerns, SPLM/A that he (love) so much disowned him as candidate for governorship. The facts of the matter is, Athor felts betrayed by the Party that he dedicated and sacrificed his life for. Just forget about reputation you always preach on the media. Let talk about how we are going to solve the conflict and inclusivesness of other political parties in to the government. So, that we will not face the same fate in the future election.
      Lets all preach peace in this forum not hatrism, tribalism, and somalization.

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    • 24 February 2011 01:49, by Aliny pathou

      Those who wish Athor dead are the enemies of the peace. South sudan Government must looks for those individuals and bring them to the book. in doing so, peace will prevail.
      Aliny pathou is concerned citizen of south sudan.

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  • 23 February 2011 14:20, by Akumada

    BOL...you are rite bro.

    And at Historical Boy...........

    Athor deserve to die in the bush because he had been fooled by(Nuer)who always goes opposite with government of our country South Sudan since the struggle started,but this time it will not work out because we are done with Bashir,the next are you guys.shame on Athor of joining bush against his colleagues who were fighting with him during the complicated wars against whole Sudan,eg North,West,East and our own black Luos Nuer,Shiluk and fools Dor(Nyamnyams who you were been fighting for long.please my advise....if you come back then don’t try at home to do something against government,that the day you will cast why you wen to the bush...see you you in Juba.

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  • 23 February 2011 14:46, by Jada Lotole

    As an Individual, I think the UN’s proposal to mediate between GoSS and Athor is not bad . Brothers often fight and do horrible things to one another due to either justified anger or unjustified anger . I humbly call upon brother Athor and GoSS to face the reality that we can’t remain forever hunting and killing ourselves and yet we can stop this killing spree ! As for brother Athor, I say please stop being adamant and for GoSS I say , let us give brother Athor another chance who nkows he (Athor) may change for the better like "Saul in the Bible who murdered alot of Christians for no good reason but later repented and became to be called Paul the preahcer of Peace, Unity , Justice, tranquility ...

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    • 23 February 2011 16:45, by Genuine Leader

      Dear all readers.

      its seems to me that’ most of commentators comments here theorically and forget logic, that our government in Juba came from military background, which means that,no grantee without finding out first the clandestine code of infiltration war between SPLA generals proclaiming the inheritage SPLA legacy [ ET Kuol Manyang and Gier Chuang Aluong + Kiir & !!!!]and SPLA rising generals ET George & !!!!.
      iam not supporting any side
      because both didn’t perseve people interests.
      Genuine Leader
      the people leader

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  • 23 February 2011 18:18, by mack waweru

    Without an enemy to fight, is it not shameful to turn against each other?

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