Home | News    Wednesday 10 September 2014

Juba sacks 14 Nuer oil workers over alleged rebel links


September 9, 2014 (JUBA) – A group of South Sudanese men of Nuer origin, who were employed by several oil companies, have been denied salary payments and dismissed from their positions by the South Sudanese government, reportedly over their ethnicity.

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A worker walks through an oil production facility in Paloch in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, on 5 May 2013 (Photo: Hannah Mcneish/AFP)

Engineer Lony Keah Tut Ngoal, who worked for China’s Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC), says members of the Nuer tribe working in both the public and private sector remained a prime target as a result of the country’s ongoing conflict, which erupted in mid-December last year.

He claimed that a source from the national security agency said president Salva Kiir had instructed officers to closely screen members of the Nuer tribe working in the public service and government institution during a closed-door meeting, saying their political affiliation could not be trusted.

He said the government’s targeting of a specific tribe indicated a loss of vision and direction.

“Resorting into tribal tactics used by uncivilised political animals will not only hinder the development [of South Sudan], but will tear the country apart into tribal lines,” said Ngoal.

He told Sudan Tribune that many of his friends and colleagues had been left humiliated after their treatment by the security apparatus.

“[What] my colleagues and I went through in this government was unbearable and [has] never happened to South Sudanese citizens [before], even the time when we were governed by Sudan. But thank God we are still alive and live to tell the story,” said Ngoal.


According to Ngoal he and other colleagues had gone on a break prior to the December outbreak of violence and were unable to return to their posts due to the violence and instability.

He said a number of his friends also contracted to GPOC had been denied salary payments and dismissed from their duties after they failed to report to the company’s Juba base until March.

He told Sudan Tribune, however, that ongoing insecurity in Unity and Upper Nile states had forced many workers to delay their return to Juba.

“The company failed to know where I was and never established the causes of my delays that was hampered by insecurity, means of transportation and as well as lack of communication from them resorted to freezing of my salaries together with the salaries of other colleagues, all from [the] Nuer [tribe],” said Ngoal.

He said the workers in questions were later subjected to interrogations by personnel from the national security service on suspicion of having connections to rebel forced led by former vice-president Riek Machar.

Sudan Tribune understands that following the interrogations, the agency submitted its findings to both the company and the ministry of petroleum and mining, recommending that the group be permitted to resume work.

Ngoal has accused the ministry of petroleum of withholding the group’s salaries since January, while Dinka colleagues that returned either with the group or after have already received their salary entitlements.

“We have been asking our company why is it that we are not given our salaries while our colleagues are being paid, even if there is no operation since when the oil was shut down since December in some parts of [the] country?” said Ngoal.


Duop Chak Wuol, another GPOC employee, also claims he was dismissed based on his ethnicity, accusing the South Sudanese government of seeking to divide the country along tribal lines.

“I believe the Republic of South Sudan does not belong to a particular tribe, it belongs to all tribes of South Sudan; those who think so should think coherently. The truth is tribalism kills and destroys,” said Wuol.

GPNOC officials were not immediately available to comment on the oil workers’ issue.

The group have meanwhile accused the undersecretary of the ministry of petroleum and mining, Machar Achiek, of fuelling tribal tensions.

They say they were told to submit a letter of apology to the ministry concerning their alleged role in the country’s rebellion.

However, the group told Sudan Tribune they have no intention of writing an apology letter, stressing that security fears were what delayed their return to work.


The petroleum ministry’s undersecretary, however, told Sudan Tribune his department was unaware of the alleged termination of some workers without notifying the Chinese oil company.

Conflict flared in South Sudan more than eight months ago after a political dispute within the ruling SPLM party turned violent, triggering tribal tensions across the country.

The fighting has pitted government forces loyal to Kiir, who hails from the Dinka tribe, against dissident soldiers and ethnic militias from Machar’s Nuer group.


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  • 10 September 2014 06:34, by wang

    Being shortsighted are diseases in this world… I wondering about what would happens when the Freedom Fighter plus those few individualism nationalisms take over the country from this tribalism govt…which perhaps will occurs in some stages?

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    • 10 September 2014 06:44, by Akol Liai Mager

      It’s a long way away my friend for the Apostle of Violence to take over the country through violence means because the simple theory says "he or she who seeks interests through violence will receive violence in return". Wish good for others and be rewarded with goodies.

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      • 10 September 2014 15:00, by Daniel Deng Monyde

        SPLA fought for 21years against the enemy, who was supported by chief traitor Riek, but the Rebels have not even fought for 1year & they are already crying bitterly. Why start a war you cannot endure? The rebels thought it was easy but now they are suffering the consequences of being misled by chief traitor Riek and they have now even been abandoned by the international community. What a shame!!

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    • 10 September 2014 08:29, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      Yeah, good step let them go!
      Suppose to be more than 14, the rests are still.

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      • 10 September 2014 14:17, by Nguntap


        You son of Dog, your act like a dog who doesn’t know who feed her/him!!!! This freedom you are in is brought by all tribes and Nuer have however play a 75% of bring this freedom. Let me assure you my dog, without Nuer, you will never be happy and enjoy the life in Juba.

        And prepare to pack to leave when Nuer come in Juba not very far a i read to you. You Dinka you are nobody to me!!!

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        • 10 September 2014 15:10, by Daniel Deng Monyde

          Nguntap,I know that you are a frustrated & hopeless loser & failure,but you should not vent your frustration here or to other people in such a primitive way.If the frustration has gotten to your balls,deal with it of vent it to your chief traitor & betrayer Riek,who has always terribly misled you to political darkness because of his selfish & extreme greed for power. White army died for nothing

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      • 10 September 2014 14:52, by Daniel Deng Monyde

        You cannot serve two masters at a go. Those who are loyal are known, they have made the right decision & cannot be misled by Riek Machar, the chief traitor & betrayer of the people of South Sudan, & they should continue serving in the government. But those traitors who are trying to survive in the government are known & they are doomed & should be pushed out to survive from the hopeless rebels

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  • 10 September 2014 08:25, by BM Bol

    Did the reporter behind this report try to contact GPOC and Ministry of Petroleum for their side of story?

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    • 10 September 2014 08:29, by Big Boy

      Dear Viper
      I am sorry dear i was not intended this comment against you as above mentioned ur name Vipor, i was try to support your comments the way you shot them , BUt IT GOSE wrong way so sorry for inconviency..

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      • 10 September 2014 14:50, by viper

        you are welcome big boy

        but where are my two comments sudantribune? have u deleted them because they are full of truth? hahahahhhahahahhhhaaaaaaaaaahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahhhhhh!!!!!

        what a website!!!!!!!!!!
        I am really surprised.

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        • 10 September 2014 14:56, by Daniel Deng Monyde

          Viper, same to me, my earlier comments were also deleted...I guess the truth is bitter but nonetheless, should be said...apparently Sudan Tribune has taken sides, this is very clear but unfortunate

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    • 10 September 2014 08:39, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      Good observation BM, this is the kind of reporting Minister Michael Makuei was talking about. If the information is not substantiated by all stakeholders, it cannot be credible. This is just a single sided complaint & all the suffering experienced should be blamed on Riek,consequent to his extreme greed for power, & unfortunately,even the Nuers in the IDP camps have taken sides,what do you expect?

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    • 10 September 2014 13:30, by Gangura

      I am not real happy with Kirr rigem, we cannot live with such stupid leader or president.

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      • 10 September 2014 15:20, by Daniel Deng Monyde

        Since Anyanya 1, when he was still a young man, Salva Kiir has been struggling for the cause the people of South Sudan, not because he wanted to become the President. Salva Kiir has fully demonstrated unwavering commitment to the SPLM/A liberation struggle and has never betrayed the movement at any one time, and has continued to make tireless sacrifices for the sake of peace and unity

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        • 10 September 2014 15:21, by Daniel Deng Monyde

          When H.E.Salva made popular reforms by creating a lean government to decrease government administrative expenditure,enhance service delivery & fight corruption by sacking a corrupt cabinet,Riek led the corrupt group to fight these reforms.

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          • 10 September 2014 15:22, by Daniel Deng Monyde

            Riek Machar is a total failure and good for nothing. He wasted time visiting IGAD countries hoping they would support him, but it was just a waste of time because his record is clear since 1991 that he betrayed the people of South Sudan and has failed politically, militarily and diplomatically. Even the west has turned against him because he is only fighting selfishly for power. What a shame

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  • 10 September 2014 08:53, by Redeemer

    Mr. Lony, before the violence spread in Bentiu Nuer killed their Dinka colleagues in GPOC especially in (Nyikek) company of Taban Deng, so feel it. starting was so sweet but fruits are bitter. You are a rebel Mr. Lony

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  • 10 September 2014 11:23, by Pure Nationalist

    It is even practiced in Dar Petroleum where many Nuers are denied payment in spite of their being with the company since January

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  • 10 September 2014 11:31, by Pure Nationalist

    It is unwise and illiteracy to associated all members of a single tribe to rebellion. Jalaba didn’t do that during our struggle against them, instead they were promoting the with them in order to discourage them from leaving them alone

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    • 10 September 2014 15:29, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      Now you are crying for Jalaba who you worked with to try to kill Dr. John Garang and to destroy the movement when you stabbed the liberation struggle in the back in 1991 and continued working tirelessly against the people of South Sudan, massacred Dinkas in Bor & other places. Even if you cry louder, Jalaba will not save you, in fact, Sudan also signed the IGAD resolution, no hope for you traitors

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  • 10 September 2014 11:43, by Pure Nationalist

    carelessness of the undersecretary made his office’s secretary/manager and colleagues of Nuers staff who have personal working conflicts to use the political crisis as a mean of targeting them from their work by accusing them to either non-competence Human resource managers and unqualified security operatives employed in oil companies

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    • 10 September 2014 13:12, by Kerem

      How comes you name yourself "Pure Nationalist" when you do not deserve to be a nationalist? Who started what at first? Was it not Riek who mobilized his fellow Nuer to fight against the government and termed it as a Nuer - Dinka dominated government war? Riek forgot that he is a Dinka by blood and God will judge him for the lives he has taken from both Nuer and Dinka during this war

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      • 10 September 2014 15:36, by Daniel Deng Monyde

        SPLA paid the price for 21years liberation struggle against the enemy who was supported by Chief traitor Riek, plus enduring brutal massacres of innocent Dinkas in Bor,Malakal,Bentiu etc.including children,women,elderly,clergy & the sick in hospitals were not spared.Now the rebels are suffering the consequences of these evils,even if they concede,history will judge them harshly, historical losers!

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  • 10 September 2014 14:28, by Redeemer

    In Bentiu Nuer were excited to see that the war takes the sharp of Dinka vs Nuer so that they can loot them. But they ended up looting all the SSudanese including foreigners

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    • 10 September 2014 14:48, by Mayom County Boy

      let them look for different jobs
      that may accommodate their children for future life !
      I think no more blame for government.because
      you can n.t accusing your government that feed you and your children , this is totally wrong from those 14 nuer men
      please better for you to join Riek Machar government
      before Salva Mayardit want to destroy it

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  • 10 September 2014 16:01, by Pure Nationalist

    Even a thief can create a reason for stealing if asked why preferring it, it is clear that the group looters with their supporters can keep on saying that we have liberated you yet the country was won through voting.

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    • 10 September 2014 16:11, by Pure Nationalist

      I don’t think that you can resist them if it comes to fighting them. Had it not been for the sake Uganda, you would have already be a gone case together with your group of looters which could not be mistakenly call Dinka like what your 19th minds are filled with. South Sudan is for all

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  • 10 September 2014 18:38, by lino

    Hahahaaha! Folks, If Nuer decided to breakaway from South Sudan with their Natural Resources, Oil included by the way, what the rest of the SOUTH going to do???
    These are things we should be focusing on not hared. God Forgive South Sudan!!1

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    • 11 September 2014 04:26, by Stephen kuach

      Who told you that Nuer own S.Sudan oil,please study the places where the oil are located before jumping into conclusion.

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