Tag Archives: Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang

South Sudan – army general resigns citing abuses and ethnic bias

Reuters

By Katharine Houreld | NAIROBI

A South Sudanese general has resigned, citing abuses by the security forces against civilians and what he called increasing ethnic favouritism in the military, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Saturday.

Lieutenant General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the deputy head of logistics, is the highest-ranking officer to resign since former Vice President Riek Machar fled after his supporters clashed in Juba in July with soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir.

Swaka, widely known as Cirillo, is respected by the international community and Western governments would see his resignation and the charges he has levelled as an indictment of the government, one security expert in Nairobi said.

South Sudan has been riven by conflict since 2013, two years after seceeding from North Sudan. Fighting broke out a few months after Kiir, from the Dinka tribe, sacked Machar, a Nuer. His reinstatement in 2016 lasted just weeks before violence erupted again.

The conflict has increasingly followed ethnic lines, forcing three million people to flee their homes, bringing the nation of 11 million close to famine and leading the United Nations to say South Sudan was on the brink of genocide.

Swaka’s letter reinforced those warnings.

“President Kiir and his Dinka leadership clique have tactically and systematically transformed the SPLA into a partisan and tribal army,” it read, using the acronym for the government Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

“Terrorising their opponents, real or perceived, has become a preoccupation of the government.”

Swaka said the military, police and other security branches systematically recruited Dinka from the president and chief of army staff’s home region. Non-Dinkas and Dinkas who disagreed with the president’s agenda were given remote postings or sidelined, he said.

He also said “soldiers from the Dinka ethnic group have been strategically deployed and posted in non-Dinka areas to support the policy of land occupation.”

Swaka said the military raped and killed civilians and allowed tribal militias to commit the same abuses as well as running a network of secret prisons where torture was endemic.

The government routinely dismisses charges of ethnic bias and blames rebels for stoking trouble. Officials say any soldier committing abuses will be held to account and the president said on Monday any soldier committing rape should be shot.

Military spokesman Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang did not return calls seeking comment about Swaka’s letter. The presidential spokesman also could not immediately be reached.

U.N. officials and Western governments have accused both sides in the conflict of abuses.

(Editing by Edmund Blair and Louise Ireland)

South Sudan army ready to move on rebels

Sudan Tribune

(JUBA) – The South Sudanese army will expels rebels fighting its northern neighbour once it receives directives from the high command, the military spokesperson, Lul Ruai Koang said.

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Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, SPLA spokesperson, is seen at a containment site outside of the capital Juba on April 14, 2016. (AFP Photo)

Speaking exclusively toSudan Tribune on Wednesday, Koang said the army implements whatever orders came from its top leadership.

“We are waiting for the commands before we as the army can take drastic measures. We are an army, we do implement what the top leadership decides,” observed the SPLA spokesperson.

He said the visit, last month, by the South Sudanese First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai, to the Sudanese capital Khartoum aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between the two former war foes.

Sudan, according to Koang, requested Juba to expel members of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) fighters from its territories.

As part of the recent agreement between the two countries, the SPLA armies are on standby to respond to any orders made by its top leadership to expel Sudanese rebels from South Sudan, he stressed.

Juba had, in the past, been accused by Khartoum of harbouring rebels fighting the Sudanese regime, allegations the latter dismissed.

Series of accusations between the two nations forced Sudan to close its borders with South Sudan in the aftermath of the latter’s secession from the former following the January 2011 referendum.

In 2012, North and South Sudan agreed that neither country would host rebel groups considered hostile to each other’s establishments.

The Sudanese government recently said it had received assurances from South Sudan’s First Vice President that all rebels opposed to Khartoum will be expelled from South Sudan’s territory within 21 days.

(ST)