Distinguished members of the Press,
We, the SPLA army stationed in Manyo County, Northern Upper Nile State, South Sudan, under the overall command of Gen. Yoanes Okij, would like to inform and enlighten South Sudanese compatriots and the international community on the establishment of (Tiger Faction New Forces (TFNF) movement and the subsequent military confrontation between our two forces today 29th October, 2015.
We have been observing and monitoring the current political developments in South Sudan since the signing of the Peace Agreement on 17 and 26 August, 2015 respectively, with deep and troubling concerns.
The un-constitutional Presidential Order 36/ 2015 AD decreeing division of the country into twenty-eight (28) states, has compelled us to form the Tiger Faction New Forces (TFNF) to protect our land and people against the tribal regime in Juba headed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Jieng Council of Elders which have usurp powers of the National Parliament and government’s decision making organs.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit Government has not shown good will in implementing the signed Addis Ababa Peace Agreement. Instead, embarked on desperate attempt to derail and frustrate the implementation by issuing divisive and controversial Presidential order.
The establishment Order was an outright flagrant violation of various Articles of the Constitution specially; 55 (3), 59 (a), 86 (1) 85 (2) and 86 (5), 162 (1), (2), (3) and 101 (f). The Order adversely affected the tribal territorial boundaries of people of South Sudan including, the Chollo Kingdom.
One of its ramifications is the division of Chollo kingdom into two parts with some in one state West of the Nile and others in the East of the Nile. The overall objective of such division is to ensure tribal domination and annexation of other tribes including Chollo territories in the eastern bank including their historical city of Malakal to the newly established Dinka’s states.
The Chollo Kingdom has been divided between two states for the first time in its 500 years since its inception. The Chollo Kingdom predates the concept of government in South Sudan and will not accept any power on earth to tamper with their territories and tribal existence. It is to be recalled that some Dinka communities neighboring Chollo have been making baseless historical claims on Chollo lands east of the Nile River in South Sudan since late 1970s up to the time of the issuance of establishment Order 36/2015 AD.
Successive Governments in former Sudan have ruled several times, in favor of Shilluk based on historical facts and supported by formal maps obtained from the British who governed the country before its independent 1956. Equally, Dr. John Garang’s message on 16th October, 2004 confirmed Shilluk’s ownership of Malakal Municipal as part of the Shilluk Kingdom.
President Kiir’s desperate attempt to give Chollo land to the Dinka threatens the national security of South Sudan and will become recipe for conflict and Balkanization of the country. There is no empirical historical evidence upon Dinka’s claims of Chollo land.
In fact it has been the hospitality of Chollo sovereigns that had provided protection throughout the history to Dinka neighboring the Kingdom. Chollo nation settled in their present geographical location since the 16th century.
The first group of Dinka to arrive in the vicinity of east of the Nile in 18th century specially the two sections of Abilang and Dingjol. The reminding Dinka sections came to their present settlements in the 19th century following the Nuer migration to Jonglei state. The Ngok Dinka are occupying areas vacated by the Anuak on their eastward migration as evidenced by the names Abong, Adong, Gel Achiel, etc.
In the determination to protect our people and land and in loud rejection of the Presidential Establishment Order 36/2015, today 29th/October/2015 at 6:30 local time, our forces carried out military operations against the Government’s troops in Manyo Country, Upper Nile State leading to capturing of the strategic towns of Wadakon, Thoworgwang, Nyanowar, Maananm and Ajot. In the battle of Thoworgwang we captured two tanks and two pickups mounted with heavy machine guns. We are fighting the government’s last ruminants at Shara Cola west and outside Wadakon and hope to capture it anytime soon.
The way forward:
1. We therefore, call upon the President and the Government of South Sudan to immediately revoke the un-constitutional Presidential Establishment Order 36/2015.
2. The Tiger Faction New Forces beliefs that federalism is a form of governance that could amicable address the complexities and aspirations of various nationalities in South Sudan leading to peaceful co-existence. It should be based on popular consultations and direct participation of its citizens in the constitution making-process. In this regard we call upon the government to respect borders of the Shilluk Kingdom as per 1/1/1956.
3. Our people the Shilluk are peaceful and loving they have never provoked or claimed lands belonging to any community in South Sudan. However, our peacefulness has been mistaken by enemies to mean weakness. The October revolution will continue until a comprehensive peace agreement is reached and South Sudan is transformed into a democratic state based on human dignity, equality and justice for all.
4. We are ready to negotiate with Government of the day under the auspices of the IGAD in order to bring peace and stability to our beloved country.
Long live the struggle of our People
Long live South Sudan
A lutta continua
Gen. Yoanes Okij
Tiger Faction New Forces (TFNF)
Date: 29th October, 2015
Wadakon, South Sudan