Ethnic Targeting and Execution of Nuer Soldiers In Upper Nile, South Sudan
Oct 16, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — According to the military spokesman for SPLA in Opposition, Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, more than 50 Nuer soldiers in the SPLA-Juba faction were executed in Upper Nile following the recent clashes in Doleib Hill and Zinc near Malakal, Upper Nile.
Lul reports that a “Brigadier General and 52 other Nuer soldiers who were still loyal to Kiir’s regime had been summarily executed by their Dinka comrades at four military barracks”
The report indicates that 27 Nuer soldiers were executed at Anekdiar, 25 at Balliet, unspecified number at Malakal military barracks and the Brig. Gen. was executed in Paloch.
According to military sources, the ethnically motivated execution was triggered by the recent defeats of government forces in Doleib Hill, Zinc and in the Northern parts of Upper Nile near Renk. Anekdiar and Balliet are east of Malakal town, the capital of Upper Nile State.
“The killings of Nuer soldiers by their own Dinka colleagues comes just four days after resistance fighter inflicted heavy casualties on genocidal forces at Dolieb Hills, Zinc and Acheb-Nil.” Lul said.
According to earlier reports, the resistance fighters seized heavy artillery, stores of ammunition and killed Ugandans tanks drivers as well.
Lul believes that the victims were tied together prior to their executions and their bodies dumped in Sobat River, however, “the corpses were spotted, collected and taken for proper burial by the Gallant Forces[SPLA-IO] manning both banks of the river”.
The opposition believes that such merciless execution of Nuer ethnic group will send a clear message to Nuer and other minority groups who are still loyal to SPLA-Juba.
“The execution of Nuers serving in Salva’s faltering regime sends a clear message to those under illusions that SPLA was still a national army. These heinous crimes meted on own comrades show SPLA has become a tribal outfit killing machine.” Lul said.
In response, the deputy governor of Upper Nile state, Awer Dau, denied any execution of Nuer soldiers in the loyal forces.
“I am not aware of any SPLA (South Sudanese army) soldiers, let alone officers with the rank of brigadier general, killed in Paloich. Not even a single comrade has been sick in either Baliet or Anakdiar,” Dau said.
“I want to say there is no truth is what is reported. It is just another strategy and propaganda by the rebels of Riek Machar,” Dau continued.
In April, similar execution were carried out on unarmed Nuer soldiers in Mapel and Wau of Warrap state after the government troops lost control of strategic towns of Malakal and Bentiu.
Similar attacks were carried out by disguised militia on over 5,000 Nuer IDPs in Bor towns, killing over 145 IDPs, mostly mothers and children.
The attack, which was justified by the Minister of Information and a son of Bor, Micheal Makuei Lueth, had an important to the government; the IDPs are “rebels” because they celebrated the recapture of Bentiu by the armed opposition.
The government reported similar tragedies in Akobo and Bentiu town where over 200 dead bodies were allegedly found in Mosque in Bentiu and eleven civilians plus two UN peace keepers were killed in Akobo.
To date, the United Nations, Salva Kiir regime and SPLM-IO had done little to identify and hold the perpetrators accountable for the gross violations of Human rights and crimes against humanity.