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Officials blame bureaucratic bungling for fall of Bentiu town


April 16, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s government is sharply divided over the recapture of Unity state capital Bentiu town, with top level military officers blaming officials at the ministry of finance and individuals close to the president for the failure to deliver military supplies.

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Soldiers from the South Sudanese army patrol the streets in the capital, Juba, following the utbreak of violence in mid-December 2013 (Photo: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

Rebels aligned with former vice-president recaptured the strategic, oil-rich town on Monday after reportedly receiving support from foreign mercenaries.

A top military officer in the operations department at the general headquarters told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday said troops on the ground had been let down after funds needed to hire aircraft to deliver the supplies, including ammunitions, to Bentiu and Upper Nile state capital Malakal were not released in time.

“The people who are supposed to help in expediting the processes are those close to the president. They needed to have pushed those at the ministry of finance who were slow to act because they did not receive official instructions,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

“The moral of our forces was high, but they were let down by [the] lack of seriousness by those who should have acted,” he added.

Gordon Buay, the spokesperson for former rebel faction South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), which now fights alongside government troops after accepting a presidential amnesty, blamed the fall of the town on the leadership in Juba, calling on the president to investigate the “negligence” of government agencies.

According to Buay, soldiers under the command of Major General Puljang Mathews had pulled out of Rubkona without notifying other colleagues, allegedly due to a lack of ammunitions, allowing rebels to enter the town with little armed resistance.

“They (government troops) pulled out because they had no ammunitions but this mistake had been corrected and it is [just] a matter of time and it will be recaptured. Just give us few days to recapture the town,” said Buay.

He also confirmed that one of his colleagues, who he named as Maj-Gen Karlo Kuol, had been captured by rebel forces after running out of ammunition.

“I am really upset with the negligence of Bilpam. President Kiir should order an investigation,” Buay told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.


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  • 17 April 2014 09:54, by Wicdail

    It doesn’t matter how many excuses you are creating, Bentiu is gone and you will never see it again.

    repondre message

    • 17 April 2014 10:13, by Wicdail

      What lie from this mendicant call Gordon Buay? He lying that Maj-Gen Karlo Kuol, was captured because he running out of ammunition LOL. This man is very dangerous liar. Nuer and Dinka need put much attention on him. Because, the man is trying to use this crises to make more money. Maj-Gen Karlo Kuol was not captured in action. He was just escaped from jail before rebel marched into Bentiu.

      repondre message

      • 17 April 2014 10:25, by Ayom Ayom

        “In War: there would be a Resolution,
        In Defeat: there would be a Defiance,
        In Victory: there would be a Magnaminity
        In Peace: there would be Good Will.

        repondre message

    • 17 April 2014 11:18, by Awei-ngok

      Wicdail, you are a barking dog..we will capture Bentiu in less than two days from now. And before that, we will first kick out James Hoth Mai from Bilpam in Juba such that he can see if he will join the rebellion or not. We are tired of him. We will survive with Marial Benjamin and Dr. John Gai Yoah.

      repondre message

      • 17 April 2014 12:44, by mathem jech amer

        You should not always be ready to recapture but first you should defend youeself rather than running away and come back.

        repondre message

  • 17 April 2014 09:55, by Bravo Nuer

    more lies from failed system in Juba will come to an immediate halt. Buay boasting in abroad is outdated. kiir and his deluded henchmen will wrestle each with their own battles. Juba the capital now is under threat. Kuacjok now is under threat. leave alone Bentiu and Malakal plus Paloch who have already smelt the flight. will kiir defend Juba or Akon now because fighting will engulf whole country?

    repondre message

  • 17 April 2014 10:18, by Makjohnson

    Let Buoy Malek barks until when he realize that, the mighty Nuer don’t scare of presupposition by desperate opportunists. Bentiu is turning point in four-month revolution and it only needs Kiir to reconsider his pomposity this time. Next to Bentiu, Mayom the HQ of Buoy’s militia under Pul Jang is captured this morning by the revolutionary force and, the fighting is heading toward Warrap only in so

    repondre message

  • 17 April 2014 10:24, by Akol Liai Mager

    It’s absolutely clear that, it is all about money and the country is downhill to abbyss.

    repondre message

  • 17 April 2014 11:55, by philipdit wol

    Kiir should do somethings reasonable in his power otherwise suppliing of weapons and other ammunitions needed in fornt-line are not like salary of this Nation who may take three month before reching people concerns from ministry of finance, I gues Kiir some thing is working behind you,please wake-up.

    repondre message

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