March 20, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- South Sudan army Division 4 Commanders Maj. Gen. Stephen Buay Rolnyang and Maj. Gen. popularly known by his name Manyoat Nyaturoal have been arrested in Bentiu with directive from South Sudan army Chief of General Staff Gen Paul Malong Awan, Nyamilepedia has learned.
The report that has reached Nyamilepedia news room is that a fight, triggered by power struggle within the high command in Bentiu, between Gen. Stephen Buay and Gen Mathew Puljang broke out, the former has subordinated the latter. Gen Puljang, Malong’s point man in Bentiu command, resisted Gen Buay’s idea that he should be replaced by Maj Gen Manyoat as Division 4 operational commander while Buay maintains his position as the overall commander of Division 4 in the former Unity State.
Those who are familiar with bad blood between President Salva Kiir and South Sudan army chief Gen Paul Malong Awan agreed that a military fall out between Gen. Stephen Buay and Gen Mathew Puljang comes as the result of Kiir and Malong sharp differences in a way the army is managed.
“Buay Rolnyang and Manyoat, both are Major Generals have been arrested this evening. This happened subsequent to the fighting which occurred when the forces of Gen. Pul Jang ,the government militias loyal to Bapiny and Malong and those of Division 4 commanded by Gen. Stephen Buay. The charges of Gen. Manyoat are that he accepted the offer of Gen. Buay to make him an operation officer should he manage to convince Puljang militias to rally behind Buay. Manyoat is one of the most notorious commanders who committed atrocities and human rights abuses in Bentiu. The forces of Division 4 have been dispersed and senior army officers loyal to Buay have been taken hostages by Puljang forces,” says Samuel Dong Luak, deputy chairman for justice and human rights affairs national committee in SPLM/SPLA in Opposition.
Dr.Joseph Nguen Minytuil, former Governor of Unity State and current Governor of Northern Liech State, and his brother Lt. Gen Bapiny Minytuil who is South Sudan’s army deputy chief of general staff for moral orientation, are allies to Gen Paul Malong Awan. Governor Minytuil is reported to have strong dislike of Gen Buay Rolnyang as a commander in charge of Divion 4 and vows not set his foot in Bentiu as long as Buay is still in charge of Division 4. General Buay Rolnyang, who is the only ally to President Kiir in the region, is left in the cold serving his sentence for unknown charges, and it’s not clear how long Buay and Manyoat are their jail terms. Nyamilepedia news crew have failed to reach Gen Malong Awan for comment.
Other reliable sources reveal that Governor Takeer Riek Dong, current Governor of Southern Liech State based in Leer, the state capital, is a close ally to South Sudan army boss Malong Awan is fighting for Gen Puljang to be the overall commander of Division 4. President Kiir’s Establishment Order 36/2015 promotes South Sudan 10 states to 28 states; Northern Liech State, Southern Liech State, and Ruweng State were curved out of former Unity State under the governorship of Joseph Nguen Minytuil, now Governor of Northern Liech State.
Gen Paul Malong Awan reshuffles his Deputies
South Sudan army chief of general staff has reshuffled his 6 deputies and reassigns them into various roles. Gen. Thomas Cirilo is moved from Training to Logistics, Gen. Malual Ayom is relieved as deputy chief of staff for Administration & finance and reassigned as Inspector General of SPLA while Gen. James Ajonga from Operations has replaced Gen. Malual Ayom as deputy chief of staff for administration & Finance. Gen. Malek Ruben from Logistics is now charge of Training, and Gen. Mangar Boang from Inspector General of SPLA settles for Operations capacity whereas Gen. Bapiny Monytuil maintains his position as deputy chief of staff for moral orientation.
The reshuffle has caught South Sudanese by surprise given the nature the appointments of the national army is carried out. President Kiir, being the commander-in-chief of South Sudan is the only one entitled to appoint, promote and reshuffle senior army Generals, but in this case South Sudan chief of staff steps in to do what the country’s president should do. Some people who are close to Kiir and Malong and familiar say that Malong’s actions of reshuffling his deputies come a fall out between him and Kiir though there have been reports that President Kiir has blessed Gen Malong to reshuffle his HQs. The reshuffle benefits only a few Generals such as Gen. James Ajonga who are ally to Malong and alienates a few as Gen Malual Ayom and Gen. Malek Ruben who do not agree with Malong’s iron-fist rule in the national army.