By: Jwothab Othow, APR/07/2015, SSN;
First and foremost, allow me to extend my deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the Chollo (Shilluk) fallen heroes including the late Major General James Bwogo Olew and 14 other Chollo officers who were killed in a barbaric act in ambush at Lul by Akoka Dinka militias. Akoka and Dongjol clans militia who recently killed Major General Bwogo Olew in an ambush along with 14 other officers at Lul are part of Padang Dinka in the context of their master plan.
To refreshed your memory about the background of Conflict between the Dinka-Chollo land conflicts in Upper Nile State. It could be recalled when the unprovoked attack on Chollo in Malakal town, the capital of Upper Nile State on January 9, 2009 during the celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the CPA.
The Padang Dinka in Upper Nile State claimed that the town belongs to them and, therefore, they should lead the procession. They attacked the Shilluk who were put before them in the procession. This incident happened in the presence of President Kiir and his former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar. Both Kiir –Machar did nothing about it until today. The same year in 2009 the Dinka attacked two Chollo villages of Abaniim and Anakdiar killing innocent Chollo citizens.
The current President of South Sudan Kiir gave Dinka a site called Pigi in the Chollo land which made it clear that President Kiir is supporting and behind the Padang Dinka claimed for Chollo ancestral land. Juba’s betrayal against Chollo Defense Forces would be a strategic failure of the President Kiir’s administration.
The recent attack on Chollo Defense forces which led to the killing of Major General James Bwogo, self-explanatory and maybe proof of the President Kiir’s administration betrayal against Chollo Defense Forces who made allies with Kiir’s government in 2013.
The giving of Chollo ancestral land to the Dinka by President Salva Kiir has continued to cause ongoing violence in Upper Nile between Dinka and Chollo land conflict unless Juba drops its support for Padang Dinka false claim and abandon their strategy to dislodge Chollo from the east bank.
The Dinka militias ambush at Lul are not an isolated incident but part of Padang Dinka elements within Kiir’s administration who are supplying the Dinka militias in Upper Nile state ammunition to terrorize the Chollo community.
There are reliable reports on the ground that some elements from Akoka Dinka elites and their collaborators from the Nuer of Upper Nile state within President Kiir’s administration are the ones arming the Dinka militia.
It is clear that there is a well coordinated plan to dislodge Chollo people from their ancestral land. The government in Juba is downplaying what happens at Lul recently as Dinka and Chollo youth clashes in Upper Nile state.
Juba is trying to misinform the public through their owned false media about what happened in Upper Nile State recently. According to the various sources, the Minister of Defense in Juba refused to meet the Minority Opposition leader in South Sudan legislative Assembly (SSLA) on the same subject playing down Dinka and Chollo youth clashes.
As part of Juba media propaganda on April 6, 2015, the well known Nuer opportunist Gordon Buay published statement on SPLM-DC forum and Juba smart forum where he claimed that General Johnson Olony issued the statement. This is totally false and fabricated.
These are elements of Akoka Dinka unfounded claims since in 2004. Thereafter, nothing was done despite Chollo’s legitimate demands that the President Kiir’s administration set up a committee to demarcate the border between the two tribes which is based on 1956 boundaries once and for all.
We are told by the various sources that President Salva Kiir made remarks to the Chollo who were trying to approach Kiir to resolve the matter that, “The Chollo–Padang Dinka boundary is in the middle of the Nile.”
The Padang Dinka elites who are supporting Dinka militias in Upper Nile with their strategy are aiming to occupy Chollo land on the East bank. They think the Chollo Defense forces have been weakened as a result of ongoing fighting in Upper Nile against the rebels.
Now Akoka Dinka militias are waging the war against Chollo Defense Forces. If the Padang Dinka think they can occupy the Chollo land on the East bank they are mistaken. The enemies of the Chollo nation will be defeated regardless how mighty they are.
There is evidence that the Padang Dinka elites and their militias are getting material support from Kiir’s government to implement their strategy and agenda to exterminate the Chollo nation from existence.
We condemned this criminal act by Akoka Dinka militias who carried out the ambush killing 15 Chollo officers including Major General Bwogo Olew.
The tension is getting high these days in Upper Nile State due to the deterioration of the situation in the last few days following the killing of Major General Bwogo and 14 other officers at Lul by Akoka Dinka militias.
To the adversaries who seek to dislodge Chollo nation from existence in Upper Nile state should know that our founding fathers have fought multitudes of enemies including the Dinka, Nuer, Funj, Mahdi, and Turko-Egyptian rule in Sudan etc. Yet we have survived and will continue to fight those who seek to dislodge us from existence.
The whole Chollo community is saddened and devastated for the loss of Chollo officers in cold blood. The killing of Major General Bwogo and 14 other officers is pure betrayal from President Kiir’s government.
There are serious concerns among the Chollo whether alliance between General Johnson Olony’s defense forces and the government will continue if the President Kiir continues to support Padang Dinka militias against Chollo forces.
The Padang Dinka agenda to remove the Chollo from their land on the East bank of the Nile from Nyijwado in the Southern kingdom to Detwok in the Northern Kingdom is clearly supported by Kiir’s administration.
There is no doubt that assassinations of Major General Major General James Bwogo who is a deputy of General Johnson Olony and 14 other Chollo officers killed in an ambush were an insider’s work of Padang Dinka elites within the President Kiir’s government.
This proven beyond doubt that the President Kiir’s betrayal against General Johnson Olony’s Chollo Defense Forces after General Olony’s force liberated most places in Upper Nile state.
Chollo all over the world are mourning the loss of their fallen heroes with bitterness. We pray that Almighty God rest their souls in peace but the Akoka Dinka perpetrators who murdered them in cold blood should know that their blood will not go in vain.
We pray that Almighty God gives comfort to their families at this difficult time and the Chollo community. The perpetrators who carried out this mindless and barbaric cowardly act will be held responsible for their death.
Major General James Bwogo was killed on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 on his way to Lul. The plight of Chollo people and the secret war being waged against Chollo nation by the Dinka militias’ with the support of President Kiir’s administration to dislodge Chollo people from ancestral land will not prevail.
This is a clear indication that the ambush was coordinated by pro-government militias from Padang Dinka mainly Akoka as part of their strategy to occupy Chollo land.
One thing Padang Dinka should know is that Shilluk would rather have Padang Dinka take their ancestral land over their dead bodies. This betrayal by President Kirr’s government will affect future relations between Kiir’s government and General Johnson Olony allies.
This unfaithfulness by the government of Kiir and their Padang Dinka militias could jeopardize the relationship between Gen. Jonson Olony’s forces and the government.
Major General Bwogo Olew was a “true hero” and he died for the cause of his people. The ambush was coordinated by Akoka Dinka militias and the President Kiir’s government to kill both Major General Bwogo and General Johnson Olony but General Johnson Olony was not with Major General Bwogo at the time of the ambush.
Major General Bwogo will be remembered and admired for his bravery and his blood will not be in vain. Late Major General Bwogo Olew will remain in the memories of many Chollo for generations to come.
The Dinka perpetrators who are plotting and fuelling violence in Upper Nile state are within the President Kiir’s administration. According to many sources those who are responsible for ongoing violence in Upper Nile State between Dinka and Chollo conflict over the land are: President Kiir himself, the current Governor Simon Kun Pouch, and Stephen Dieu, South Sudan minister of Petroleum, Joshua Dau, a member of Jieng Council of Elders, and Gen. Johnson Gony etc. Just to mention the few.
The ongoing war waged by Padang Dinka in Upper Nile state against the Chollo people have been “coordinated” by President Kiir’s government. If we could recall right after Chollo forces liberated Wadakona the perpetrators mentioned above plotted to assassinate Gen. Johnson Olony at Renk when the Dinka militias shot at Gen. Johnson Olony‘s vehicle but. thank God, he was not in the vehicle and no one was hurt.
The authorities in Juba did not say anything about that incident until Major General Bwogo was killed on April 1, 2015 along with 14 other Chollo officers at Lul. So it is very clear that Juba was behind the conspiracy and is involved in what happened recently in Lul.
President Kiir’s government is trying to discredit and betray Chollo Defense Forces after they have liberated most places in Upper Nile state from the Rebels.
President Kiir’s administration refused to send a delegation to attend the burial of late Major General James Bwogo despite his high rank is an indication that Juba was behind the killing and has betrayed General Johnson Olony.
Sadly, after the Dinka militias killed Major General Bwogo according to the sources on the ground that his body was cut into pieces by the mindless cowardice of Dinka militia. This is pure senseless act and barbaric crime. The blood of Chollo martyrs will not go in vain.
Major General Bwogo Olew was a “true hero” and he died for the cause of his people. Such inhuman and barbaric acts will be met with tough action against the Dinka militia perpetrators. President Kiir’s administration and Padang Dinka is a threat to Chollo existence.
In conclusion, we are deeply concerned that President Kiir’s administration is not serious in resolving the issues of land conflict between the Dinka and Chollo because of his double standards.
It is time for Chollo to think carefully and collectively and to act. I strongly believe that the Chollo people will defeat the adversaries who want to dislodge the Chollo nation.
Major General Bwogo and other fallen heroes….. Chollo people will never forget your sacrifices and your blood will not go in vain.
We thank them for their service and courage. They died for the cause of their people. We salute you and May God rests your souls in eternal peace.
The author is a South Sudanese concerned citizen; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org