Home | News    Monday 28 April 2014

Defecting generals from W. Bahr el Ghazal’s Wau town speak out


April 27, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – Senior army officers who mutinied on Saturday in Western Bahr el Ghazal state capital Wau said their defection to opposition forces led by former vice-president, Riek Machar came after they were targeted based on their ethnicity in the aftermath of an alleged massacre in which 192 unarmed Nuer trainee soldiers were killed in Mapel, east of Wau town.

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Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) on patrol in Lakes state’s Yirol East county on 15 February 2014 (Photo: Fabio Bucciarelli/Al Jazeera)

In an exclusive interview with Sudan Tribune on Sunday, Brigadier General Gatwech Gach Makuach, one of the generals who defected, said government forces had attacked residents in Wau following the Mapel incident, prompting them to defend themselves, after which they marched out of town.

“We thought we were part of the army and the system fighting against the rebels. Some of the Nuer senior officers taken from Wau recently came back wounded as they fought for the government in Unity state, Upper Nile and Jonglei states. Yet our colleagues from the Dinka tribe wanted to kill us too,” Makuach told Sudan Tribune by phone from near Wau town.

“We didn’t want to cause harm to the civil population or destruction to their properties, so we had to march out,” he added.

He also condemned what he said was the massacre of unarmed Nuer soldiers at a Mapel training camp, describing the incident as premeditated mass murder based on ethnicity.

“The government lied that it was an internal mutiny within the army in Mapel. This is not true,” said the senior officer.

“Brig General Baak (a Dinka) separated the Dinka trainees and took them away from the training centre, and the next day hundreds of armed Dinka came back and attacked the training centre, shooting at everybody, including women and children who were families of the trainees,” he further explained.

According to Makuach, the incident occurred as the attackers beat to death an unarmed Nuer soldier found in the market near the training centre after which the “assailants quickly moved to the camp shouting at Nuer [tribesmen] and started shooting indiscriminately”.

“They only exchanged gunfire with [a] few bodyguards of Brig Gen. James Ochan Puot, who himself was on leave in Wau town. The few bodyguards were overwhelmed as the rest of the trainees had no guns,” he added.

Makuach said he and other five brigadier generals, including Puot, the officer previously in charge of the training centre, had defected with a sizeable number of troops and are in the proximity of Wau town.

Fighting erupted in South Sudan in mid-December last year when president Salva Kiir, who hails from the Dinka tribe, allegedly ordered the disarmament of soldiers from the Nuer ethnic group, sparking clashes among the presidential guards in the capital, Juba.

Kiir accused Machar, a Nuer, of allegedly plotting a military coup to remove him from power.

Machar dismissed the claims, saying the president fabricated the matter in order to get rid of his political opponents amid heated debate at the time over the future direction of the ruling party (SPLM).

Kiir’s newly recruited, armed loyalists, believed to have come from his home region of Bahr el Ghazal, were largely blamed for allegedly carrying out targeted killings of Nuer civilians in Juba in the days following the clashes.

Nuer generals began to defect in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states in response to alleged ethnic-based killings in the capital. However, several Nuer generals and troops have remained loyal to president Kiir and are in charge of military units in the South Sudanese army (SPLA), which is fighting against rebels.


- Heavy gunfire erupts in Western Bahr el Ghazal’s Wau town amid reports of SPLA defections
- Heavy fighting erupts in W. Bahr el Ghazal’s Mapel town

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  • 28 April 2014 11:52, by Mi diit

    Foolish Nuer soldiers and politicians still think that there is a government to defend. You will learn the hard way. You and your families will always be killed by Dinka fake government or sacked like foolish Hoth Mai. Why do you fight for a tribal leadership that doesn’t distinguish you from the rebels? Shame on you all.

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    • 28 April 2014 14:49, by Bentiu son

      Waw! What a tribal conspiracy and regional/international lobbying against Nuer in South Sudan? Well,those Nuer sellout,traitors, betrayers n money blood suckers have got deaf ears about the nature of current conflicts, Some people call it a war bt government n rebels,others call it political war within SPLM while the rest call it tribal war bt Dinka v Nuer. Now! Salva Kiir’s tribal loyalist had

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      • 28 April 2014 14:56, by Bentiu son

        chosen the last ones- which is unachievable ethnic cleaning to exterminated Nuer tribe from South Sudan map mercilessly. Well,human being learn through try and error.Is is not too late for you Nuer sons to join your siblings against those Dinka tribal mindsets individuals led by visionless Salva Kiir,Kuol Manyang,Malong Awan, Makuei Lueth, Malaak Ayuel, Tiller Ring Deng,Alew Ayueny Alew,Ayendit

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        • 28 April 2014 15:01, by Bentiu son

          Brave men/women in uniforms do not worries siblings,a man can die anywhere as Nuer warriors believed,we were not born to die at Nuerland but anywhere across the country.We will fight fight till Dinka Kingdom collapse and her leader Salva Kiir resign either peacefully or forcefully through bullets.No reconciliation,national healing and no peace talk bt Nuer n Dinka thugs who hate Nuer to death.

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          • 28 April 2014 15:17, by Bentiu son

            The blood of those who were cold bloodily massacred by genocidal regime of Salva Kiir and his stooge cabinet 17,613 Nuer civilians who were killed on 16-19/12/13 in Juba,350 innocent Nuer 17/4/14 killed in UNMISS camp Bor,340 murdered on 23/4/14 in Renk Town and recent 220 trainees Mapel on 27/4/14 in WBEG State will water the tree of democracy,good governance,equality,freedoms,federalism in RSS.

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  • 28 April 2014 11:54, by Ayom Ayom

    I don’t believed if there was a defection in Wau and Mapel,these people fear for their lives,that is why the end up running away to the forest, but I think the plans are underway by the government to collect them in the forest and security their safety.

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    • 28 April 2014 14:35, by Bentiu son

      Dear Nuer warriors the hidden agenda of Dinka tribal mindset leaders had been revealed by foolish dictator unwanted Care Taker Governor Matur Chut Dhuol whose all brothers and sisters are from Nyuong Nuer.Matur Chut Dhuol is illegitimate /bastard son whose mum was divorced by Nuer man and concubine later by Dinka Agaar man.Well,let us go for it. No reconciliation,national heal n no peace talk

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      • 28 April 2014 14:38, by Bentiu son

        between Nuer v Dinkas.The dictator Matur Chut Dhuol poorly thought that quantity matter in war fields but forgoten that quality,military tactics,braveness,and disciplinary methods do matter a lot in war zones.Therefore,5,000 oriented Nuer women like those heroines led by captain Nyapuoch who captured Dukeen recently can defeat those 20,000 new recruited Dinka Youths shamefully.No mercy this time.

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  • 28 April 2014 11:59, by Malakal county Simon

    Dinka’s has declared this war as a tribal war since December last year. when they slaughters innocent Nuers civilian who have no political affiliation with Dr Machar, but were killed anyway for being Nuer ethnic.... My advice to all Nuer who are still in Dinka areas or Bar-el-ghazel, please be alert to defense yourselves or go to your nearest UN protections site, or you will be kill in cold-blood!

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    • 28 April 2014 12:12, by Malakal county Simon

      For Gatwech Gach and his group, you’re welcome home eventhough you were all being deceived in the pasta as they said it was a political war, when in-fact its a tribal war.... Why the government is killings innocent army trainees who are loyal to the government? But some money lover from Nuer tribe cannot understand, but very soon they will feel the heat and some will get kills in cold-blood..

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      • 28 April 2014 12:42, by Chol A.

        The groups were 100% on plan to defect to Riek but have no way of doing it. But now they fear of new defence who cannot let them play cowardly games use by Mai. Those who fought in mapel it just minor miss underling between individual but some who want to fuel issue made it which result into other Nuer cowardly run into the bush without even verified causes. We wish you guys to Nuer land safely

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        • 28 April 2014 13:48, by wen yar

          Your tribal types of government of Rek and malual girnyang has cost all Dinkas lost of value.
          You Chol A or whatever u call your self, there was nothing of defection what so ever been plan,only the soldiers from reek and Malualgirnyaang who think president kirr is theirs alone cause this problem
          Am sorry for this confused situation has South Sudanese citizen

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    • 28 April 2014 12:51, by barbayo

      break news
      Gatwach came back this morning to SLPA as National army not malitias because name of malitias to some Nuer in Africa shames

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  • 28 April 2014 12:26, by Uncle J

    If I was Kiir I can put aside the govt and allow this war to be fought on tribal line to see who will surrender themselves in the end. Why still keep Nuer soldiers in the national army Baracks when we all know they will not fight an honest battle with their fellow rebels? those 5 brigadier generals that defected in Wau should be hunted down b4 they crossover to other side of Warrap state

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  • 28 April 2014 12:42, by barbayo

    done dream it still , this government and rebels are fighting not tribes ,if you drunk,pliz,you keep quite .

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    • 28 April 2014 13:00, by Malakal county Simon

      @ retarded Barbayo!! You seemed to be narrow minded person and think i can buy your shit right? If is not a tribal war as you claimed it, why then the government Killed those innocent civilians previously in Juba, Bor Unimiss,and recently in mapel just for being Nuer, and have no political affiliation with Dr Machar???

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      • 28 April 2014 13:08, by Malakal county Simon

        Your tactic has been discovered, and its old outdated.... Its time for you Dinka’s to pay the price, because Kac-lora has been declared....

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      • 28 April 2014 17:29, by barbayo

        if it going to be accepted ,what is your benefit as tribal war ? my think wide ,done think like Bari people
        a war you compaigned it now, if is going to be accept by Dinka ,as tribal war ,my friend this will be remain in history for 4000 yrs nobody forget about it, if you are Nuer why you are join front line and you ran to Uganda like Equatoria

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  • 28 April 2014 13:19, by Jalaby

    This situation is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated anymore!
    Dividing the south at least into two states could be the solution, Nuer should have their own state which should be all states that bordering Sudan, some one may say some Dinka are living in these states and some Nuer are living in other states,

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    • 28 April 2014 13:24, by Jalaby

      That’s right but that could easily be resolved and we have to take the India model in our account when it was divided into two states:India and Pakistan, they moved Muslims who live in India to Pakistan and moved Hindus who live in Pakistan to India, the same could apply here and that would stop the killing and hatred for good, and believe me no other solution!!

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      • 28 April 2014 13:30, by Jalaby

        In this case, Nuer will walkout with the oil because it exists in their land, and you know Nuer are our strategic ally since ever, we never fought with Nuer as Nuer but the opposite is correct but in fact Dinka do all the time!
        We will help Nuer building their new country and we will have a very close relationship with them, their oil will be used wisely and be out

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        • 28 April 2014 13:43, by Jalaby

          of greedy Dinka hands and other thieves!
          This bloodshed will never come to an end and more lives will be lost down the road unless the south is divided exactly the same way like India case and move Dinka and Nuer here and there accordingly!
          America should correct its big mistake before it’s too late and implement the India-Pakistan model right away!

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          • 28 April 2014 15:22, by Uncle J

            Bloody Jalaby,
            why can’t you apply those bunch of bullshit scenarios you telling us to Darfurian or Nubian if you really existing analyst? you are fuck and the dump people you trying to persuade are fuck too, so who is fooling who???

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          • 28 April 2014 15:38, by garang kerubino

            Jalaba, why do u look at the speck in ur bro’s eye, but do not notice the log in ur own eye?(Mathew chapter 7 verse 3) read this verse if you are not foolish. have you solve the problem of Durfur, Nuba Mountain and Blue Nile, first of all create peace in ur country to ur people and leave the problem of South Sudan to South Sudanese only.if war mean dividing the country why don’t u do that in Suda

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          • 28 April 2014 17:35, by Rommel

            Your little wet dreams aside... When will you finally understand that you border the Dinka and not the Nuer!? Please refer to a map. We share a border with you from Darfur through to West Kordofan, South Kordofan, White Nile State, Sennar and Blue Nile State.

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            • 28 April 2014 17:41, by Rommel

              The Nuer share a very small piece of the border with you in Longochuk county, near Blue Nile State, and even that land doesn’t belong to them — it belongs to the Buruun. By the way, how many times must I reaffirm to you that South Sudan’s oil is not extracted from the lands of the Nuer!? You actually think that the oil is in Nuer territory, don’t you? LOL!

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              • 28 April 2014 17:45, by Rommel

                Seeing how oil is the only thing of import to you, don’t you think that you should first find out where the oil is? At least 85-90% of South Sudan’s oil production comes from Dinka lands, with the oilfiels of Paloich [Dinka territory] alone accounting for 80% of South Sudan’s oil production.

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                • 28 April 2014 17:54, by Rommel

                  The largest and most productive oil fields in South Sudan are in Dinka lands. The most productive oilfields in Unity State are in Dinka counties > the only counties in Unity State that border Sudan. The largest and most productive oilfields in Upper Nile State are all in Dinka territory.

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                  • 28 April 2014 17:58, by Rommel

                    The three oilfields in Upper Nile State [Paloich, Melut and Adar-Yale] are all in Dinka territory. The Dinka territories of Unity state account for up to 75% of that State’s oil production. Out of the seven significant [7] oilfields in Unity State, only two [2] are within Nuer territory — Tharjiath and parts of Unity oilfield. Toor,Toma south, Nar, Alhar and Manga are in Dinka counties.

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  • 28 April 2014 18:01, by Kim Deng

    If South Sudan happens to be divided into many pieces, the Mighty Nuer Warriors will not only claim Longechuk, but also Mut Dung City (Renk), Ngundeng City (Mading Bor)...
    Had the Nuer ever wished to occupy the whole greater Upper Nile, from Renk to Mading Bor and from Ruweng/Biemnom to Buma-Gambella, it seems unlikely that the other coward Jurs (Jaang, Teet, Bar, Chai…) could have stopped

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    • 28 April 2014 18:16, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:
      You should be a comedian, dear brother. If the ’mighty’ Nuer ’warriors’ couldn’t win the war against their brothers with Khartoum’s help, you will not be establishing a Nuer ’empire’ in their absence. Stop day dreaming, child.

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    • 29 April 2014 10:18, by Jewish Ally


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      • 29 April 2014 10:25, by Jewish Ally


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  • 29 April 2014 09:13, by Mel mosa

    The world is wonder of Nuer people. They keep preaching tribal war which I think is the bad shape for them. They plan to defected among their colleagues but when they get kill they start cry out that they are targeted. Do you guys think the world is blind to see the trust like you? Please be logic.

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