Nuer Youth Demand The Release of Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel

Media Release: Nuer Youth Executive Council, Juba, South Sudan

    October, 16

    OCT. 17/2012, SSN; The Nuer Youth leadership in Juba is deeply troubled by the events which have been taking place in the city since October 11, 2012, the day Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel was arrested at work in Bilpam Headquarters. We thought that his arrest was something related to administrative issues until we read the press release of Jieng Community Association in Juba which categorically stated that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec was incarcerated due to his support to Nuer Prophet Dak Kueth and Murle rebel commander, David Yau Yau. The legal department of Nuer Youth Association began to investigate the real cause of his arrest despite claims of Jieng Community Association and discovered that he was detained by Military Intelligence (MI) that was ordered by the Commander in Chief of the SPLA army, 1st Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit.

    The chief of MI told the leadership of Nuer youth that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec was detained -because he was working with other politicians to stage a coup against the leadership of President Salva Kiir.

    The Nuer Youth dismissed the claims of MI because Juba has been rocked with rumors of coups since last year. It should be noted that there is no month that would pass by without a rumor of a coup in Juba. Last year, it was rumored that Deputy Minister of Defense, Dr. Majak Agot, was planning a coup to topple President Kiir. That rumor died down without any incident. In July this year it was also rumored that Presidential advisor on Human Rights, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng Garang met with some Bor officers and appointed Maj. Gen. Mac Paul to stage a coup against President Kiir. That rumor was even published in the media. However, it was discovered that Rebecca Nyandeng did not plan any coup and was being blackmailed in the media. Moreover, when the son of late Dr. John Garang de Mabior, Col. Mabior Garang de Mabior, gave an interview to McClatchy newspaper in Nairobi expressing his dismay on the leadership direction in South Sudan, it was also rumored in Juba that he was planning a coup.

    When the agents of Military Intelligence said that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel was detained because of allegation of a coup, everybody dismissed it as another rumor mill in Juba spewing nonsensical charges against a respectable officer like Simon Gatwec. However, the Nuer Youth is shocked today, Tuesday, October, 16, when President Salva Kiir confirmed in the meeting with officers at Bilpam Headquarters that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel was arrested because he and unnamed politicians planned to stage a coup against his government. The President said that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec would be taken to court and if found innocent he would be released. The statement of the President put to rest the doubts of all those who were dismissing the allegations of a coup as the usual joke and began to ask serious questions.

    Sources within the military intelligence revealed that the coup leaders are Deputy Minister of Defense, Dr. Majak Agot and Hon. Dr. Riek Gai Kok, a member of South Sudan Legislative Assembly representing Akobo County of Jonglei State. However, when meeting military officers at Bilpam Headquarters on October, 16, President Kiir praised Dr. Majak Agot and Lt. Gen. James Hoth for foiling the coup while he was in Uganda. But the revelations coming from MI alleged that Dr. Majak Agot was in fact the leader of the coup who recruited Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec.

    The question every reasonable South Sudanese is asking is: If Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec was part of the coup, where are the other officers? Where are the politicians who organized the coup? Why did President Kiir not arrest Majak Agot and Dr. Riek Gai Kok who are named by MI as leaders of the coup?

    According to sources within the MI, Dr. Majak Agot was the one who gave President Kiir the list of 31 officers ranging from Brig. Generals to Maj. Generals as officers who planned to stage a coup. It is said that Majak Agot denied being part of the coup and told Kiir that -the Nuer are the ones planning to overthrow Dinka government-. The funny part of the allegation of a coup is that the politicians who organized the officers have not been arrested and only one man is targeted. That begs the question and the Nuer Youth are having difficulty believing President Kiirs version of events because it would be the first time on earth that one Maj. General could stage a coup alone without politicians backing him up.

    If the rumors which have been circulating since last year are being believed by the President, the question is: Why would the President not believe the previous rumors linking Majak Agot, Rebecca Garang and Col. Mabior Garang to the conspiracy of staging a coup against the government? Col. Mabior Garang is on record calling for removal of President Kiir when he gave interview to McClatchy newspaper. He never denied his interview but qualified it recently by saying that he was calling for -peaceful uprising against the government-. After the events of Tunisia, people know that the line between popular uprising and a coup is indistinguishable. Yet, President Kiir did not detain Col. Mabior Garang when he returned to Juba on October, 9.

    Dismissing Nuer Officers: After a thorough scientific investigation, the Nuer Youth discovered that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel was not incarcerated because of allegation of a coup since all the facts revealed that the allegation of a coup is a lie. We have discovered that President Kiir wanted to implement a policy of purging the Nuer officers out of the SPLA army. This policy was delayed when Paulino Matip was alive because he was against it. After his death, President Kiir and his Dinka elites revived the policy and identified thirty five Nuer officers to be removed from the army so that the Dinka would firmly control the South.

    The allegation of the coup is a ploy to cover up the real plan. Using coup as the reason to detain Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel is a tactic to detain all the Nuer officers one by one because official retirement of all Nuer officers at once may raise suspicions. Salva Kiir himself said in August in a meeting with officers in Bilpam that he would be retiring military officers starting from Brig. General upward. He did not implement that plan right away because he was advised that it would create tribal tension.

    The Nuer Youth would seriously advise President Kiir and the Dinka community at large that the politics of tribal domination and nation-building are antithetical. The same tactics being employed by President Kiir in targeting the Nuer were used by the Hutus rights after the independence of Rwanda in 1961 and led to first Rwanda genocide. After the resistance launched by the Tutsis in defending themselves from Hutus dominated government, the Hutus political elites decided eventually that the only solution was to exterminate Tutsis on earth and that policy culminated into the second genocide in 1994.

    However, South Sudan is a multi-ethnic society and the Nuer community is a heroic community that could not be dominated. For the last three hundred years, Dinka never defeated the Nuer in any battle. In 19th Century, the Nuer conquered Dinka lands and assimilated 30% of Dinka. In the 20th C, the Nuer is the only tribe in Africa which fought the British for thirty years with spears. The Nuer were the first to bring down British plane with a spear, an experience which shocked the British empire up to now.

    When the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed, the Nuer community came to conclusion that past conflicts with Dinka should be brought to an end because nation-building demands that South Sudanese people transcend tribal politics in order to forge a viable nation state. When Paulino Matip signed Juba Declaration on January 9, 2006, the Nuer community applauded the spirit of cooperation between him and President Salva Kiir. Despite the glaring mistreatment of Nuer for the last six years, our community endured humiliations in the name of South Sudan. Maj. Gen. Bol Kong in 2006 was the first SPLA officer that fought his own people of Lou Nuer to carry out the government disarmament program in the name of South Sudan.

    Today, the Jieng Community called him Nyagat (fifth columnist) after defending South Sudan from external threats because he is a Nuer. When war broke out between the North and the South in March this year, it was Maj. Gen. Bol Kong and other Nuer officers who heroically defended South Sudan border. More than 80% of SPLA forces along the North-South border are Nuer. More than five thousands SPLA soldiers killed in Heglig and Jaw battles were Nuer.

    It has become a habit that when there is a war between the North and the South, the first people President Kiir relies on are Nuer. In 2008 fighting between the SPLA and SAF in Abyei, it was Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet who heroically defeated the SAF. After the end of the fighting, he was called Nyagat in Juba and denied medical benefits to go for treatment in Nairobi after a long fighting in Abyei. That was one of the reasons he left the government in 2011 and formed a rebel movement.

    After Peter Gatdet formed South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) in March, 2011 to fight the government of South Sudan, it was Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel and Maj. Gen. Bol Kong who convinced him to abandon rebellion. Indeed Peter Gatdet signed an agreement with the government and he is now the deputy commander disarming civilians in Jonglei. Had it not been for Nuer officers like Bol Kong and Simon Gatwec Duel who rejected rebellion, South Sudan could not have been independent last year. Today, all their work to save the South is thrown to dustbin because they are Nuer and the only reward they get is to label them as Nyagats.

    The Nuer Youth are aware that President Kiir wants to endanger the very survival of South Sudan as a viable state after achieving independence last year. However, the Nuer community refused to be part of the failure of the South and stood firmly in safeguarding the territorial integrity of South Sudan from external threats. The Nuer who died in the border war with the North died in defending the honor of South Sudan. Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel has more than five family members killed in action defending South Sudan.

    When Maj. Gen. Gabriel Tang, Maj. Gen. Simon Mabor Dhol and Brig. Gen. Gatwec Joak were illegally detained last April with orders of President Salva Kiir, it was Maj. Gen Simon Gatwec Duel and Maj. Gen. Bol Kong who calmed down the Nuer Youth. Up to now, Gabriel Tang and his officers have never received justice let alone being informed of the reasons for their detention. The South Sudan constitution states that any accused should be accorded due process in a short time possible.

    However, all the constitutional stipulations have been ignored because the accused individuals are Nuer. When Maj. Gen. Marial Nuor, a Dinka, was accused of raping girls and murdering an engineer in Juba, he was detained for few days but was produced before a judge. He was allowed to have a legal counsel who argued his case and today he is out of prison after being arrested for only two weeks. Up to now, the government dropped the case against him although the UN documented his abuse of girls at night in the city. The reason for his release is because he is a Dinka.

    Since his arrest on October, 11, 2012, Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel has been denied food for five days and his wife has been prevented from visiting him. He has never been accorded due process as stipulated in the Interim Constitution and was not allowed to retain a legal counsel let alone being told the reasons for his detention. While President Kiir is talking about justice, the only people who receive justice in South Sudan are Dinka, not Nuer because since April, 2011, Gabriel Tang, Mabor Dhol and Gatwec Joak have never received justice.

    The Nuer Youth are calling on President Kiir to release Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel as soon as possible without conditions from our community. The patience of Nuer community is running thin and President Kiir should not wish to return the South to dark days of 1990s when William Nyoun and Bol Kong defeated him at Magiri with only seven hundred fighters while he was commanding fifteen thousands. Nuers fighting spirit is unquestionable; however, the Nuer community resolved that ethnic fighting would destroy South Sudan and return our people to abject poverty and suffering. The number of Nuer and Dinka who died as a result of factional wars in 1990s far exceeds the number killed by the Sudan Armed Forces in the course of liberation struggle.

    When the Nuer Youth convened a meeting last year at Nyakuron Cultural Center, Maj. Gen. Bol Kong told the Nuer Youth that South Sudan should abandon violence and adopt the path of peace as the only way to achieve political power. Bol Kong advised South Sudan politicians to use ballot box as the only way to bring political change in South Sudan. Today, the Jieng Community labeled him as Nyagat after fighting his own people in 2006 to carry out government disarmament policy.

    The Nuer Youth would not release another press release again to advise President Kiir to abandon destructive tribal politics. Instead the President should consult history and release Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel immediately. We have realized that Nuers pacifism is being seen by Dinka community as a weakness and some members of Kiirs elites have begun making presentations that -the Nuer are defeated-. This release is our last advice to the President because our patience is running out. The responsibility to keep peace in South Sudan is a responsibility of all people including Dinka community. It is the interest of every South Sudanese to see that peace reigns supreme in South Sudan. But if communities that have realized the importance of peace are being labeled as -cowards- or -being defeated-, the future of South Sudan is bleak.

    As youth, we believe that peaceful South Sudan is our priority and will benefit us more than President Kiir who is getting old. The future of South Sudan belongs to the youth and we are the last sector of Nuer community to see South Sudan on fire. However, the Nuer community has inalienable right to defend itself if President Kiir is pursuing policies of domination and extermination. If President Kiir is interested to impose war on Nuer although they do not want it, it is instinct of every human being to defend themselves when attacked. The right of self-defense is a right recognized internationally. But our hearts break to see that the President of a newly independent country wants to return the Nuer and Dinka to 1990s factional wars.

    We call upon peace-loving Dinka brothers to advise the President that the Nuer-Dinka war is the end of South Sudan. Such a war should not be promoted by anybody be it President Kiir or the youth of South Sudan who would be the losers. The future of South Sudan belongs to the youth and the next generation needs to see a culture of peace being promoted by our leaders.

    But the policies of President Kiir will return us to factional war of 1990s when he and Maj. Gen. Bol Kong fought for a month in Equatoria and wasted more than thousand lives of the people of South Sudan who should be now contributing to our countrys development.

    The Nuer are not cowards but our community resolved in 2006 that tribal wars would not take our country forward and there is a need to stay away from tribal tendencies which nearly destroyed South Sudan liberation movement in 1990s.

    For contact:

    Peter Tut Hoth

    President of Nuer Youth in Juba,

    South Sudan



  1. Bol m says:

    The ending parts of this essay are really good, if I wish every body could read it. Kiir is a very good man but his advisors are not. If he has the data like you detailed it above, then there is injustice. Those who were part of coup should be brought to book as well. All of us need peace and the future belongs to us, the youth. I do not like part of this article which praises Nuer as people who have defeated Dinka over the years, what do we gain from that exaltion? Was the writer in South Sudan in all these years? The tribal war was a tit for tat, Nuer win and so do we. When will we as south Sudanese think as a person? Kiir is acting like a priest or pastor which is good for peace, if he was like the regime in khartoum, all those 35 named to be behind the coup would have disappeared. If you remember Shamsazin who killed many in khartoum. It will answer every thing in this article because I do not support the idea that you Nuer are being thrown out of army, who is James Hoth, who is minister of defence? Are they not Nuer who are controlling south Sudan army or do you want Bilpam to be for only Nuer? There is no leader like Kiir that south will ever get. If power is a driving force behind these multiple rebellions, why can people wait for 2015? Who knows, Kiir may step down, and whoever wants power can come in. My last word is, let’s avoid message that provokes anger, we youth need peace to prevail here is south, no tribe is better than another tribe. Our challenge now is, how will we rapidly develop south?

    • Brother Bol M, You are right brother. I am a Nuer by tribe, but I know there is one thing that we must agree upon and that is the welfare of our young Nation, South Sudan. Don’t expect that our own good president General Kiir Mayardiit is immune from mistakes. He is making and will continue making mistakes like any of us who are his fellow citizens, but we are not going to destroy this country because of that.

      It is James Hoth Mai and his sons-in-laws (Bor) who are trying to play these dangerous games because he hates other Nuers like hell. His restless Bor are looking to topple Kiir government, but fear Nuer Generals who were former Generals who don’t entertain nonsense.
      This slave-hearted man called James Hoth will one day pay a real price for his hatred against Naath Community.

    • Mzee Khot says:

      Mr. BOL,
      i am so much impressed by the way you react to this message, yes we as South Sudanese need a serious peace at this time because we came from far and we need to do a lot so that we reach the world in development.
      what i need MR PETER TUT to know is not a matter of whether Nuer win the war during tribal clashes but we are at the time in which you have to think intellectually rather on tribal line. now you said that Dinka want to remove all Nuer but i think if you can reason, see and interpret the current government then you should not say all those negatives ideas.
      let not forgot the past as you talk of Nuer winning the war and yet if you were born after 1991, i hope you know what kind of war Nuer win and still we forgive and move on to peace but now you praise the past.
      you also mentioned that all those who die in the war of North -south are Nuer, yet we know SPLA is national army with all tribes of South inside, yes if Nuer are the only tribe who fought the war which led to independent South, so what happened in 1991 of Nuer following THE VICE PRESIDENT to KHARTOUM. so who was that who remained to defend what you call your country now? please let stop such weak accesses and look forward to change.
      For your information Simon Gatwec Duel is my real cousin from mother side as you know his mother is Dinka, so let the government carry out their own investigation and if found not guilty i hope he will be released from prison. you stop supporting tribal clashes and reason well before you react as this reaction will make others think that this how Nuer behave which is not right.

  2. kyc14000 says:

    You are right… well it is very sad new as we Nuer community at large failing to recognize things go unfair in our society. Well you have mention a very clear point that the government of South Sudan is a Dinka government but they are using the old system that’s destroying many nations (countries) around the world today. The spies who are working under Kiir administration have no ideas (clues) what type of duty they are caring. It looks like they’re caring the old system that every body lies during the war with north. Misleading the society is also end worse you people of south sudan have to know that.

    I believe the government (goss) has to look very carefully and find the way without incident. We all are in twenty first century, anyone including Kiir and gang group will fail and those who love war will also fail divsion will also fail. I have seen the war and i do not want to go back to kill southerners, brother as such as Nuers or Dinkas.

  3. Hmmmm……a nice article but wonder whether it holds water!!

  4. Hello my family member! I want to say that this article is amazing, greatly written and comes with approximately all significant info. I’d like to see more posts like this .

  5. Buony says:

    39 laws have been drafted against Nuer by Dinka right away after the CPA was signed, my fellow Nuer you failed to react even when it becomes clear that Dinka are working against any Nuer born son or daughter. It sounds hurting that Dinka reach to the level of detaining Nuer General at Bilpam, it remind when I heard people telling me that Garang had told people not to bury Samuel Gai Tut before he gave him 40 beatings after they killed him. Nuer Youth, our lives at stake if our compatriots could do harm to us while we are just watching them without reacting in whatever way. Peace is not for our betterment but for everyone in South Sudan. If it was not because Dr Riek Machar advocated south Sudan independence, do you think these food-loving cadres would enjoy the so called “independent nation”? In number 5 Nuer young men were killed at night by Dinka curfew in Juba and they had beaten Emmanuel Jal nearly to death, what does that mean? It deeply disturb me! Lives in Kampala

  6. Wal winyieng says:

    Bravo NUYU Leadership, in fact Dinkas seem like they have forgotten the 1990s when we defeated and killed over thousands of them. So I would like to call upon all Nuer youth to declare Dinkas as their number one enemies in the world, and take immediate action to topple these inhumans and their stupid president.

    • Lado James says:

      sorry, i hope this was out of absented mind, let’s be careful with our words, i hope you as Nuer have mental problem, how do you talk of decelerating war to DINKA.

  7. Guan says:

    This article is cowardly written, for how long are you going to be standing there watching your people getting locked behind bars, or even killed? If Nuer need to survive and protect its interest, it has to act now. Yes, the Dinka interpret the Nuer silence over many issues as signs of defeat, now what does that tells you? They are not going to listen to your rather timid article. I believe this article was written by an individual and claimed it’s from the Nuer Youth Association. The submissive language betrayed it all. Nuer youth can not issue such a release. And what is keeping the country stable got to do with Nuers mistreatment by Dinka officials? Get this, Nuer is not the sacrificial lamb for the stability of South Sudan, are we the ones to loose if it happened so? And what difference does it make since we do not enjoy the stable country itself? Our members are languishing in jails.

  8. mejablue says:

    You guys wrote an interesting article, but it really lack substances or concrete facts, besides you try to be an instrument of peace but end up inciting the tribal wars, of defeating Kiir in the 1990s and all the misleading claims. It sounds like you guys are really intellectual and bunches of educators and may be know the rules of the modern world, but just failed to follow the logical way of doing or saying things in the volatile environment like South Sudan. Nuer Youth, be an organization of educators of modern world not barbarians or war instigators. Peace out.

  9. martin L says:

    What is scary about this article is, it is all about tribal politics not more not less.

  10. Michael Manut Lual says:

    Actually true is true, but the reason is not Dinka. Any problem is normally started from your community see here the man call Getdak was not going for medical supervision, he was defecting really. If he was going for medical supervision why he diverted to Khartoum instead of Nairobi? and u nuer u know him very well he likes defecting very much. But for this case Dr Majak should be investigated for coup that is ur right. If u need to declare war on Dinka just say we need to fight Dinka!
    Author is medical personal. And he can be reach at

  11. Thiang Gek says:

    Thank you very much, Mr President, for a patriotic media release. The Thiang Youth Association has seconded your objective statement and the Union moves under your leadership. Yes, it is not acceptable that Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual should be jailed for a reason which is engineered by Mabiors and Agots. We think Kiir has forgotten the Naath Community contributions to the success of the current leadership of this country RSS. Have you forgotten that Naath fear no man but God? We shall answer the questions should he fail to do so.

  12. Thiang Gek says:

    They will one day pay the price.

  13. Willliam says:

    Well, you guys are really trying to cover up the facts by reacting negatively and characterizing it as a tribal move by Dinka. People already know that there are real enemies within South Sudan. Go ahead, support your culture of you being a rebel then later come back. Thanks!

  14. I really hate South Sudan infant politics based on mere allegations fabricated by sectional minded politicians whoever face a warrant arrest shall be treated as innocent until proven guilty. There is no need of inciting violence without genuine reason, period.

  15. moses says:

    Nuer this Dinka that… Why cant we live in peace.. We live peacefully among ourselves here in kampala.

  16. Bol m says:

    What are you trying to achieve? From the above comments, most of your tribal conflict incitors, in 1990s when Greater Upper Nile revolted, what had they achieve from that? You should know that all tribes are important and none of the tribes can threaten the others, because Nuer rebellion in 1990s never erased Dinka nor did Dinkas erase Nuer. All of them are equally powerful tribes. The article is good because it shows how Nuer youth are dismayed by the problem but it should not be over exaggerated because facts of the past are still fresh, Kiir is a leader of all of us. When Riek or any person from your area becomes a leader, would we as Dinkas react that way? Avoid bad comments, your message has reached the right source since it is now available in all websites. We need peace and love. Peace

  17. Peter Madual says:

    I believe that this statement is reflecting all youth Naath opinion. Dinka always think Riek Machar is weak and indecisive simply because he’s embracing peace in South Sudan. In other wards, he’s against any war between Naath and Dinka which would be the end of south Sudan if it happened.

  18. Dear Peter Tut Hoth. president of Nuer youth. Your article is nothing and even shows no sense. As a youth leader and mobilizing the youth to protest for an officer arrested is not a community issue, that act is totally a crime and you will be questioned about it. Maj. Gen Simon Gatwec Duel is an officer of the SPLA which is now south Sudan army and he has to be arrested if found or accused of any guilt, and he has right to defend himself in a lawful manner. He was born from Nuer and he become an officer in the govt. and within the govt. there is justice where he has to defend himself, if not found guilty, he has to be compensated. In your article also, you have asked Nuer people who are working in the govt. to resign. After that, what do you want them to do? You have also talk of Dinka govt. which is not there. Dinka, Nuer and many others tribes make up one nation and one govt. To ask you, is he president Kiir also the vice president as well as minister of defence and chief of staff? Also during our armied struggle, we all as southerners have participated for our independence not only one tribe. What do you mean by the word Dinka govt.? Additional to that, we have elected Kiir as our president of south Sudan but not Dinka president and that is where you would have mobilised the communities not to vote him. We fought for two decades to have our govt. Whom did you expect that would be the president?
    You have also to be investigated, why do you mobilize the youth; do you want youth to fight the govt. for the case of SPLA officer arrested and not the case related to Nuer community? You have a plan and reason but your plans has been detected before you succeed or otherwise you have made it clear and proved that the allegation on Maj. Gen Simon Gatwec are true allegations. You have made the planning and if detected before success or in any case of arrest, you will defend. Please, you should have to apologize to the national govt. as soon as possible, for your plan to destabilize the young nation is detected or otherwise, you will not be allowed to lead such demonstration again. Deng Ngor Akuei is from Aweil East of NBGS, Baach payam and is in khartoum now under medical treatment.

  19. Hello, many thanks for revealing your ideas in Nuer Youth Demand The Release of Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel. This is actually a cool website.

  20. Gatkuoth Lok says:

    What is needed is safe change in our leaders way of ruling the country other than the more expensive one which South Sudanese cannot afford. (war of all against all; Hobbes) The change which is vaguely put in many ways sounds better to be understood as a change which is brought about by strong men and women from our three regions, political parties and nations regardless of their affiliations with the aforesaid bodies with interests that are conflicting. We have got a job when our Democracy lacks rule of law and accountability which seems incompatible, hence, it is our polity choice to let us struggle for life in this direction chosen by our president who is praise worthy of his achievements and also blame worthy of his failures. Therefore; every thing happening is our president’s own making both good and bad like without exception.

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