Updates: Realities on the Fighting in Upper Nile State!
April 24, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Fighting broke out on 21 April 2015 around 7:00pm when three bodyguards of Governor Simon Kun Puoch went in a vehicle to take their colleague to Malakal teaching hospital.
When they arrived near the hospital premises, they were stopped by soldiers of Maj. Gen. Johnson Olony,who are commonly known as Aguelek. When the bodyguards of the governor said that they were taking a colleague to hospital, the next thing they heard was the car being sprayed with bullets. Two of the bodyguards ( one Dinka and one Nuer) died instantly. The third one was badly wounded. He was unconscious and was presumed dead until the morning hours of 22 April, when he came to the house of the governor heavily wounded.
As soon as the governor’s car was attacked, Johnson Olony’s soldiers immediately ran and attacked the houses of the government. There were forty bodyguards of the governor in the compound protecting the Senior government officials.
Fighting ensued until 11:pm. There was no reinforcement from the forces stationed in Malakal including Mathiang Anyor, Abuchiok and Jamuz. They remained in their barracks as Johnson Olony was telling them that he was fighting the governor and not the government of South Sudan.
In the morning at round 5am on 22 April, the soldiers of Olony attacked the house of the governor again. It continued until 11am. In the morning, another bodyguard of the governor (Dinka) was killed.
It was at this time that the Abuchiok battalion composed predominantly of Padang Dinka decided to rescue the bodguards of the governor and the Ministers. This is how the government of Upper Nile managed to relocate to Maluth County.
It was amazing how these young forty men managed to fight the forces of Olony for more than twenty four hours and killed 18 of their attackers!
Anyways, the government in Juba could not make of what was happening in Malakal. Olony keeps telling them that he is only fighting the governor and not the government. At the same time, the governor is a governor of South Sudan government. Then in a surprise turn of events yesterday, Olony decided to attack the bases of Jamuz, Abuchiok and Mathiang Anyor and overran them.
This is the time now the command in Bill Pam realized they have a rebellion in their hands. However, it is important to put some political context to this.The Shollo politicians in Juba have decided that they want to take the position of governor in Upper Nile State since they are the ones with majority force in the state that has been fighting the rebels of Riek Machar.
They have stated time and time again that they cannot protect a government of the state that is under Nuer governor. They should only protect a government that they are leading.
This has been presented to the president several times, but the president never acted against Simon Kun. Now, their last attempt is to chase away the governor and Olony would be in control of Upper Nile State capital, and there the president will have no choice, but to recognize the defacto control of the town by Shollo forces and therefore, he must be forced to remove Simon Kun and install someone from Shollo politicians…who in this case is either William Othoan or Jokino.
This theory got support from the top leadership of the army including Defense Minister Kuol Manyang and Paul Malong Awan who crippled Johnson Gony Biliew from acting to rescue the governor. The same policy prevented Gen Buay Rolnyang and Gen Nhial Batoang from flashing Olony out of Malakal. However, now, the government has now decided to fighting against Olony and he may not be there in the next forty hours.
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