The Nuer and the Shilluk Dragged to War by Salva Kiir through Johnson Olony

Hundreds of children are believed to have been kidnapped by forces of Johnson Olony to be used at the frontline to defense the government installations in Malakal and other parts of Upper Nile(Photo: Guardian)

Hundreds of children are believed to have been kidnapped by forces of Johnson Olony to be used at the frontline to defense the government installations in Malakal and other parts of Upper Nile(Photo: Guardian)

March 19, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — When you make a comparison studies on the social relations and social fabrics among the people of Upper Nile State before the eruption of the ongoing civil strife and do compare it to today reality on the ground. You will really feel bitter and self critics about how can people who had been living together for nearly 75 years as brothers and sisters turned to become worse enemies in period less than two months and killed themselves mercilessly . Hence it’s with big regret that what happened in Upper Nile State and Malakal town in particular during the cycles of hostilities between government allied militias and White army is unexpected event or incidents and it’s an obligation for any true citizen of Upper Nile State to condemn it to the strongest term. The Shilluk, Dinka, Maban, Kuma and the Nuer community had been living in Malakal for long time and intermarriage and share many social events as brothers and sisters. The Shilluk community was assumed to catalyst or middle ground to mitigate the escalation of war to Upper Nile State when the fighting erupted in Juba and majority characterized it as tribal motivated fight between the Dinka and the Nuer tribes.

When the news filtered in Malakal about the Ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in Juba by President Kiir private Dinka militias known as Dut Ku Bany (rescue the boss) residents felt great betrayal by the leadership and received with unified reaction by the Shilluk and the Nuer citizens in Malakal which create much fear for the Dinka minorities in the town .The Shilluk community also had better experiences about the tribal motivated killing when SPLA forces resorted to the mass killing of innocent Shilluk men, mass raped of women, forced displacement of citizens and disruption of livelihood of the civilians due to insecurity as a result of the rebellion led former militia leader Johnson Olony in 2010. The Shilluk community viewed at the Dinka domination as threat to their existence and stability in the Shilluk kingdom especially in the Shilluk land occupied by the Dinka communities and supported by the Dinka led regime in Upper Nile State and Juba.

Though Shilluk influential leaders did not come out openly to condemn the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in Juba, their informal statements clearly indicated that, they were sympathizers to the innocent Nuer civilians massacred by the Dinka dominated regime in Juba. The good example was the Shilluk militias who were sent from Wadakona to reinforce the government troop in Malakal and decided to attacked Bienythiang in Akoka county because they see no genuine reasons to fight the Nuer in Malakal while leaving their common enemy the Dinka in their ancestors land in Bienythiang which serve as the headquarter of Akoka County.

The testimonies from the Shilluk individuals indicated that, some the Nuer fled to Shilluk kingdom when the white army captured Malakal town on the 14/01/2014 and were well protected by the Shilluk militia from the Dinka soldiers who were trying to kill them in Shilluk kingdom.

I also learnt that , the Nuer soldiers who were in Akoka crossed the river to the Shilluk land for their safety and also many Shilluk citizens remain in Malakal town and we free from any harm from white army . Some Shilluk civilians are believe to living in greater Nasir together with their Nuer friends and relatives when situation in Malakal became hostile

The Nuer, Dinka , Maban, Kuma and the Shilluk were living together in the churches and hospitals sharing their hardship as brothers and sisters and no one harm them when white army was still in the inside the town from 14-19/01/2014.

The testimonies from people who had been in Malakal during the fighting indicated that, the Shilluk were not involved in the fighting between 24/12/2013-14/01/2014 when hostility started in Malakal.

The testimonies also revealed that , any Shilluk who died between 24/12/2013-14/1/2014 should lost his/her life through cross fire not an intent killing and the Shilluk were considered as neutral group by the White Army and the government forces . I believe people lost their properties and it was to be common situation to all citizens in Malakal irrespective of their tribal affiliation but simply a confussion era.

The above-mentioned few indicators clearly shown that, the Shilluk and the Nuer have no serious animosity in Upper Nile State before the intervention of Johnson Olony Militia to Malakal conflict. The current hatred was intentionally created by the Salva Kiir regime to involve the Shilluk community in the ongoing power struggle or ethnic tribal motivated killing between the Dinka and the Nuer using Shilluk Militia commander Johnson Olony.

The Shilluk were formally dragged to this conflict by Johnson Olony who operates under the direct command of Paul Malong Awan the leader of tribal militias in South Sudan. The First Shilluk militia involvement was on the 20/01/2014 when Johnson Olony militia joint Dinka militia under Johnson Gony Beliew to recapture Malakal town from the White Army. The recapturing of Malakal town by joint forces of Johnson Olony and Johnson Gony was received with mixed reaction by the citizens in Malakal and it create tension that resulted into massive ethnic target killing, raping and burning of the houses against the Nuer. Though Johnson Olony forces did not represent the position of the Shilluk community was viewed by the Nuer that Shilluk made an allied with Dinka against the Nuer and this was the start of the hatred between the two communities in Malakal.

The mass killing of the Nuer by the Shilluk and the Dinka militias between 20/01/2014- 18/02/2014 has putted the life of the Nuer who remain inside the town at very high risk and many Nuer civilians loss their lives , woman were raped and citizens were denied access to water and food in the town . The Shilluk and the Dinka IDPS in the UNMISS camp start make coalition to fight against the Nuer IDPS inside UNMISS Protection facilities.

These deplorable situations provoke the white army from greater Nasir to return to Malakal for the third time for rescue mission of their people who are exposed to potential risk from both the Shilluk and the Dinka communities in Malakal. The White army rescue mission attacked Malakal town on the 18/02/2014 and fought the heaviest battle against the Shilluk and the Dinka militias who were in control of the Malakal town and this resulted into massive loss of lives from the both sides of the conflict.

The White Army successfully managed to capture Malakal town within 45 minutes and Johnson Olony and his deputy were all wounded and many Shilluk militia lost their lives in that battle. I also believe that some civilians from both sides lost their love one and the Shilluk community officially became party to the conflict as from that date.

Many educated people from the Shilluk may put the blame on Johnson Olony for dragging the community into that deadly and brutal conflict for his own personal interest not Shilluk interest. The ordinary Shilluk citizens believe that they were targeted by the Nuer and they are not party to the conflict and the middle class citizens from the Shilluk may know that there is no animosity between the Shilluk and the Nuer and put the blame on the Nuer for targeting their citizens.

The Nuer politicians believe that, the Shilluk have known problem with the Nuer and government used Johnson Olony to implicate the Shilluk in the War as tactics. The ordinary Nuer believe that Shilluk involved themselves in the war between the Dinka and the Nuer for no good reasons and the middle class believe that Shilluk started the war against the Nuer who are not their common enemy .

The beneficial in this confussion between the Nuer and the Shilluk is the Salva Kiir tribal regime for using one stone to killed two birds.

The regime killed the Shilluk civilians, raped women, burnt the villages, displaced the population and intimidated the political leaders in the Shilluk Kingdom in 2010 using other tribes including the Nuer soldiers and they again killed the Shilluk and the Nuer in 2014 without justifiable reasons.

It is my personal believe that, the people of Upper Nile State need to learn from the past and the ongoing confussion. The next generation should not allow the same confussion to repeat itself when peace and stability returned to the State. I believe many people from Upper Nile know from the bottom of their heart that they are implicated into this hardship and suffering by poor leadership in Juba and the citizens allow themselves to use against each other for Salva Kiir personal gain.

I believe this crisis will one day come to an end but people of Upper Nile State should learnt a good lessons from this and should work to build strong foundation for better South Sudan and Upper Nile State. I know every family lost their love one and valuable assets in the crisis.

The 75% of the population is displaced by the conflicts and the populations live in fear and trauma of war but we need to keep hope alive for the better South Sudan and the future of this country will start and emerge from Upper Nile. It is my personal believe that, we will never return the dead to live, we need to accept our diversity as our strength and though hard to believe we still need to forgive each other but not to forget this terrible time, hardship and suffering our people exposed to by the tribal regime under Salva Kiir Mayardit.

I believe that, this is the time to unite our effort and energy together and change this regime at all cost for the better tomorrow and this mission need all people of South Sudan at all walk of life to join hands for brighter future .

This is high time for the citizens of this country to look higher and abandons this tribal regime in order to rescue this country from total disintegration and collapsed and finally believe time has come to say No, No and No to tribalism, Nepotism, Corruption, Lawlessness, bad governance, rule of guns and genocidal regime of Salva Kiir.

The writer is concern South Sudanese Activist and can be reached via

  14 comments for “The Nuer and the Shilluk Dragged to War by Salva Kiir through Johnson Olony

  1. March 19, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Dear Mr. Lual Magok, please do not distort clear facts. The reason why Olony intervened is because the white army militia killed the innocent Shilluk civilians and not the opposite story. and to make it clear, the killings were deliberately made by members the Lou Nuer and a few gangs from Nassir & Fanjak.

    The drift that happened between the two tribes will not easily be bridged as long as people continue to give fake excuses. and even if Gen. J. Olony got involved initially (something which never happened), others should not have been killed because there were also many Nuer who opted to fight for Kiir, Gen. Gony Beliu , Gen. Buay and Gen Hoth Mai among others, have you killed the Nuer because of that? of course not! Why? and yet they have supported Salva Kiir.

    That issue definitely turned the peaceful Shilluk tribe members into a different group, their teachers, traders, students, farmers, and fishermen took up arms as they have to fight for their own survival. This has also shifted the balance of power to Kiir’s side.

    And until now Dr. Riak Machar never condemned the Malakal killings, which the Shilluk believe it was something prep-planned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bentiu Ramaran
      March 19, 2015 at 1:24 pm


      Liar, please stop lying. Johnson Olony was heavy paid by Kiir so he was the one who kill Nuer civilians first when the white army was force to withdraw for the first time from Malakal. When Malakal was first captured, the white army did not target Shilluk, but Collo community was hosting SPLA, the government troops attacked white army using Shilluk territories.

      When the joint Shilluk militia and Dinka entered Malakal, the Shilluk target Nuer only event Nuer in the government. The Collo militia event went a head and kill Nuer in hospital. As a result, when Malakal was captured for the second time by the white army, Shilluk were targeted because of the ethnic cleansing they had done at first. Just enjoy your blood money under corrupted government, the regime will change no matter how heavy the government paid Collo Militia to finish Nuer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. T, H, A
    March 19, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I personally congratulate Lual Magok, for a very correct and well presented assessment on what happened between Nuer and Shilluk. I was too closed and watching how things turned that way, before the conflict and after the conflicts. Edward like many among shilluk may be ignorance about the whole thing. I was on line with Johnson Olony until two days before the shilluk massacre in Malakal. He put off the line in my face a went ahead puting the Shilluk in that mess, which he himself continued to put shilluk in upto this day. Recruiting even school kids. Too disappointing.
    Militias in most cases here in South Sudan are a tribal driven armed groups for a purpose or grievances that the tribe is experiencing. with collo it is the land issue with the dinka. That shilluk militias has been there even before this conflict and the purpose they were formed for is not yet solved by this regime.
    Johnson Gony, Buoy, Hoth Mai, like other shilluk generals Awad Jaago, Dak Ayaar amd others who had been involved in the war from the day one are all SPLA officers.
    Olony though he is integrated into the SPLA, but decided to take the shilluk militia with him to war. With those of Awad Jago no one said shilluk is involved in the war. But the involvement of shilluk militia meant that shilluk got involved.
    Let me tell you Edward that no shilluk joined Olony to fight Nuer, but he recruited them by force even the children, Gordon Brown just called him a terrorist and Warlord. Even the Government who made him a Maj, Gen still call him a militia leader.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. March 19, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Lual Magok,

    You have mentioned that Shilluk and Nuer never had any animosity before the 2013 conflict, my question to you then is; what did Dinka ” Bor, Ngok and Lake State Dinka tribes done to Nuer that they deserve for their civilians brutal death in the hands of Nuer in Bentiu, Akobo, Bor, Malakal, Adong, and Nasir? As matter of facts, Dinka Padang and some Bor Tribes (Hol and Nyarweng) had been intermarrying and living in harmony with their bordering Nuer tribe for centuries. Most dinka tribes have also been marginalized just like any other tribes by Juba government so, why in the world did Nuer wanted to piss them off?

    The problem with the Nuer is that when faulted, they jump into action…whether by revenging or other options without evaluating the situation. Every morally conscience people and tribes of South Sudan I believe, were sympathetic to Nuer civilians death in Juba until Nuer as a whole, started taking matters into their own hands by brutally killing every Dinka civilians at random. It was a great chance for other dinka and nuer tribes to have joined hands and removed the current corrupt government (not for Riek Machar to be president), but for a better visionary leadership. You, as Nuer have missed that golden chance terribly. Such is also the different between Nuer and Dinka. Dinka knows how to evaluate and act cautiously. Evaluate, evaluate the situation at hand,no matter how urgent!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bentiu Home
    March 19, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    It is interested to read these comments I think all the tribes in South Sudan are blaming Nuer tribe because the way Nuer behave. My advice for every one who critics Nuer it is okay to express your self and tell us your concern we accept every thing you say because we are human easily could make mistake. One thing you have to know we never ever start the argue or fight someone will start and than we pay him back to revenge. We know this war will go further but all the citizens of South Sudan will realize one day Nuer are annocent people. Also keep in mind we do our best we could and also we have plan B and C.
    Son of Bentiu

    Liked by 1 person

  5. March 19, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Juju Marial,
    You are very very right! Nuer never evaluate anything before action. The political crisis was not a nuer-Dinka problem. It was a Kiir-South Sudan problem which could have been resolved in such fashion. But Riek machar was pushed by intelligent politicians(especially G-13) to own the wind of political change as a Nuer demand because they knew that he would not analyse and instead he would drag the Nuer community into it. All the people of south Sudan were the ones demanding change in the SPLM and the government. It would have been resolved at such level. Even today, I have not met a government Minister from ouside of Bhar Al Ghazal who supports the way Kiir handles the country. But, is Riek Machar better than Kiir? No, therefore, south Sudanese are looking for a better leader for south Sudan and that will come through the SPLM process and not through bloodshed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • .
      March 19, 2015 at 8:35 pm


      As you have mentioned previously that you served in Salva Kiir government and you were in NLC on 14th, what make you leave Juba when you re this loyal to the government?

      Secondly, you mentioned that the crisis would have been resolved by the nation (South Sudan); what is “South Sudan” without you or Dr. Riek Machar and other individuals? Also, if you count yourself as one of those who would have been part of the solution, what did you do in your position as “people representative” to prevent the crisis in the first place? Did you advised Dr. Riek Machar or Salva Kiir to rest their differences or you waited for the conflict to air your criticisms?

      Again, Dr. Riek did not declare his position for the first two days as he was on the run, what did you or “South Sudan” did to prevent the genocides within the first two days? How long would it have taken the “South Sudan” to response to Salva Kiir?

      To me, the South Sudan that would have had significant impact or would have ended the conflict was the army but then Gathoth Mai has made it clear in the leaked AU report that he was partisan, and no one would have stopped the “organized killing”. Did you expected those who responded to have awaited for Jesus Crisis to descent from heaven to miraculous resurrect the thousands that were (or would have been) killed and end the conflict?

      The above statements are my personal opinions as an editor to this particular post and not necessarily my general view on South Sudan conflict.

      Thanks and enjoy the debate!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bentiu Ramaran
      March 19, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Nyaluak Lual,

      I think you are one of many Nuer women who serve Dinka men 24 hours a day seven days a week. No matter how hard you Nuer sell out trying to deny the right of Nuer, your corrupted government will still collapsed and your pushy pussy will be out of date very soon.

      Liked by 1 person

    • March 20, 2015 at 4:27 am

      Thanks a lot for your comment

      Liked by 1 person

  6. March 19, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Edward, where is Shiluk Defense Force that claim the capture of Tunga in Feb 2014? They are like Mathiang Anyore and Gwelweng which will never mention as a force a gain. Please if you want to live peacefully with Nuer don’t start to make war with them then complain latter on. Why complaining if you know that Shiluk has killed Nuer. Juju, Nuer never hate Dinka they are the tribe which Nuer truth most and intermarried to them in South Sudan but when Dr. John Garang uses Ethiopian troop to kill Nuer in Pugnido and Dima that was 1983 and fight Nuer in 1984 he face it in 1991. Shiluk step on Nuer in 1972 and requested government to let them fight Nuer for one week but surrendered themselves the second day. When they admitted their mistake, nuer forgive them and they start living in peaceful living till Shiluk Killed Nuer and burned Nuer houses including my house in Malakal that was Feb through order from Johnson Olony. Now you face the consequences. Burun start killing Nuer in Maban but because Nuer did not response they are now claiming victory over Nuer just wait they will complain latter on too. Let Nuer Fight all tribe till they all surrender one by one

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 19, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      I will not viciously argue about what happened in Malakal, as it seems you have not understood my point.

      The Shilluk have now taken control of their territories from you and they do not have intention to go beyond that. No sane individual would fight for no reason!

      The stance of the Shilluk against this government is like that of other South Sudanese communities in the sense that they call for real democracy and justice- that why they still condemn the Juba massacre.

      I am sure had the Nuer used their brains in the fight against Salva Kiir, they would have won the war (no insult intended).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bentiu Ramaran
    March 19, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Juju Marial and Nyaluak Lual,

    Liars, liars, liars, you are excessive liars. When the white army of Lou Nuer left for Juba in an attempt to rescue Nuer who were murdered in Juba, they did not kill anyone on their way to Juba.

    However, when the white army fought with the join forces of South Sudan army on the Bor-Juba, the white army was forced to return to Bor. When the Bor civilians learn that the Uganda army defeated the white army the Bor people starting shooting at white army.

    In addition, when the Ugandan military defeated the white army in Gadiang, the Dinka Twich, Hol, and Nyarwang started shooting at white army. The primary mission of white army was to rescue Nuer who were murdered indiscriminately in Juba, but the Bor, and the rest of Dinka Padang got on the way. So those Dinka deserved what they sown. If the white army want to kill every Dinka, they would have started the war in Duk Padieng, Panyigoor, all the way to Bor.

    Therefore, stop lying about Nuer and the white. Just enjoy your corrupted government money before the collapse of your tribal government.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. March 19, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Thanks to all you for professional and nationalist comments. It is my personal believe that South Sudan is better than anything in the world . My brother Edward is right to protect Johnson Olony militia because that is what we all learnt from this regime of Salva Kiir to protect tribalism, neoptism, corruption, lawleness and bad governance in expend of majority poor .It will be hard to change disease from our mind but we should learnt to love this Nation than our tribe for better tommorrow .for brother Bentiu , the involvement of Johnson Olony militias is not genuine reasons to target all shilluk population but tribalism remain the cancer for South Sudanese . The shilluk and the Nuer killed in Malakal and Juba respectively were victim of the tribal identity and we need to fight tribalism to rescue our country.T.H.A Johnson Olony never good to school and he now assume the leadership of the Shilluk kingdom through intimidation and warlordism . The future of shilluk community is at big danger where former goat trader turned to led thousand PHD holders in 21 centures. John Marial , I am sorry for not mentioned other dinka tribes who had been with the Nuers and remain together even in this terrible time. I know Dinka of Khorfulus/Figi, Lake , Duk had been away from this conflict for sometime . The opted to abstain to join Nuer in fighting out fear of stigma and discrimination from from other Dinka but still maintain their brotherhood with Nuer. We use group as role model for building nationalism among our citizens . Nyaluak Lual . I know women are better leaders because they are less tribalists and less corrupt . The strategy made by G-13 should not exposed the whole Nuer tribe into ethnic cleansing and should target Dr. Riek Machar, Taban Deng, Ezekiel Lol AND jOHN lUK . There was no genuine reason for killing Nuer for being Nuer in Juba . To me the action of white army was not emotional but provocative by killing in Juba. I know Nuer were killed by Kiir and small group not all Dinka. But it will be hard for white army in their cattle camps to know that. Anyway all this depend on time and thing will be ok


  9. March 23, 2015 at 6:13 am

    A big Thank You to All Commentators!
    Here I want to confirm to all my readers that young South Sudanese writers are coming back to their senses. With this, I mean to say that, when you read between the lines of the comments made by all the above writers, then you can see something is coming soon from the mines of South Sudanese people. Also, I want to advise any writers that they should inscribe the spirit of truth which can ultimately lead to tolerance, forgiveness, and reconciliations, and indeed, peace for all! Congratulations young people, the future belongs to you! Tell the truth and the truth will set you FREE and free indeed!


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