Gen. Olony’s Speech On the Ongoing Conflict in Upper Nile State
March 6,2015(Nyamilepedia) — I am obliged to issue this statement to the media so that the international community and the people of South Sudan will know the facts surrounding the clashes between the Shilluk (Chollo) and Dinka youth near Akoka County, Upper Nile State.
It came to my attention that the anti-peace elements of Riek Machar are distorting the clashes between the youth in the state and politicized it as if the Constitutional army of the Republic of South Sudan is fighting itself.I have to make some clarifications because the media, particularly the Sudan Tribune, reported distorted facts in regard to the Chollo (Shilluk) youth and made an impression that the Shilluk youth are armed group commanded by me.
The first clarification is to make it abundantly clear the difference between the Shilluk youth who clashed with the Dinka youth and the SPLA forces I am commanding. The forces under my command are SPLA forces, not a separate militia group of Shilluk tribe as Sudan Tribune alleged. I, Maj. Gen. Johnson Olony, am duly the officer of the Constitutional army of South Sudan, who was integrated into the SPLA army by a Presidential Decree of November, 25th, 2013.
The second clarification is the death of Maj. Gen. James Bwogo who was killed in crossfire at Lul Bridge, which is between the state Capital, Malakal and Akoka County. Gen. Bwogo, after hearing the clashes between the Shilluk and Dinka youth on April, 1st, took it upon himself to visit the site of the clash with an honest intention of stopping the clashes. Unfortunately, he felt into the ambush of the Dinka youth who mistook him with the leader of the Shilluk youth. The Dinka youth didn’t know that the one they attacked was the SPLA Maj. General. They thought he was part of the Shilluk youth who fought them earlier.
Today I met the Investigation Team under Major General Patrick Rapael sent by the Chief-of-General-staff of the Constitutional Army of South Sudan to investigate the causes of the clashes between the Shilluk and Dinka youth. I gave my statement to the Investigation Team as to how the problem started and how Gen. James Bwogo died accidentally. The Investigation Team will meet the leaders of the Shilluk youth on Tuesday, April, 7th, 2015. After taking the statements of the Shilluk youth, they will meet the leaders of Dinka youth to complete their investigation.
Since the last clashes on April, 5th, 2015, no more clashes took place between the two groups of youth. The road linking Malakal and Akoka County has been reopened and the traders and people have started using Lul Bridge. The SPLA army under my command has already been deployed to maintain security. The two groups of youth have so far observed peace and tranquility.
I would like to warn the anti-peace elements of Riek Machar that I am not a tribalist who would abdicate my national duties of protecting the Constitution to join a tribal rebellion of the vicar of Ngundeng. I was shot in February, 2014 in defending Malakal town from the marauding White Army of Riek Machar. I have been defending the Upper Nile State from the rebels as an officer of the SPLA army, not as a Shilluk.
I am calling upon the rebels of Riek Machar to respond to President Kiir’s Amnesty and accept peace. The people of South Sudan fought for fifty years to become independent from the North and their hard-won struggle cannot be spoiled by Riek Machar who has no national objective in killing women and children of South Sudan. I remember correctly my family members killed by Riek Machar’s terrorists in Malakal in February, 2014. The number of Shilluk intellectuals massacred by Riek Machar’s rebels in Malakal is more than the Shilluk intellectuals killed by the successive Khartoum regimes.
For those journalists who want to talk to me to know my position as an officer of the SPLA army, and the defender of the Constitution, please feel free to call me. My contacts are below.
Maj. Gen. Johnson Olony
Upper Nile State