Major-General James Ochan arrives in Maiwut, warm reception accorded

Thessherald—Major General James Ochan Puot, commander of the special forces and his accompanying delegation were warmly welcomed this morning upon their arrival in Maiwut, a remote area bordering South Sudan and Ethiopia.

He was accompanied by members of the press, including journalists working for the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC).

General Ochan, who’s currently in charge of Maiwut and its surrounding areas, had been in the capital, Juba since December last year.

Maiwut is one of the areas administered by the government under President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

South Sudan’s government and opposition Parties signed a peace agreement in 2018, aimed at ending protracted conflict that has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions from their homes.

On Monday, while releasing its quarterly report covering January and March, the R-JMEC expressed grave concern over the stalled implementation of the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements.

“Much remains to be done by the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) especially considering that less than two years remain in the Transitional Period as it was previously agreed upon,” the peace monitors stressed in a statement seen by Thessherald.

SPLM/A-IO condemns surprising attack on its forces in Nasir by SSPDF

The main armed opposition group, SPLM/A-IO, has issued a statement condemning the recent attacks on its forces by the SSPDF forces in Kedbek, Nasir county.

“On Monday, 15h March, 2021, the SPLA-IO defensive position of Ketbek in Nasir surprisingly came under aggressive attack from some anti peace elements within the SSPDF base in Nasir. They burned down ketbek base to ashes making the SPLA-IO to tactically withdraw to Pananyang in respect of the R-ARCSS,” said Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO Deputy Military Spokesperson.

The opposition party strongly criticized the government forces for starting the violence at a time when the whole country is yearning for peace.

“The SPLA-IO is aware of the start of the clashes between the SSPDF and civilians in Koat on Sunday 14 March, 2021 where they also burnt civilian’s houses and destroyed other properties. The SPLA-IO would like to make it clear that its forces in Ketbek didn’t start or influenced the fight in Koat but wonders why its base was attacked and destroyed at this time when majority of the suffering South Sudanese want peace.”

The opposition lauded the top leadership of the SSPDF for pledging to bring perpetrators to account.

“The SPLA-IO acknowledged the effort from the SSPDF high command to bring those responsible for the violations in Ketbek to account; however, its calling upon the JDB, CTSAMVM and UNMISS to investigate this violation as mandated by the R-ARCSS.”

“The SPLA-IO remains committed to the implementation of the Security Arrangement and reserve the right to self defense when aggressed. LIBERATION 17MAR 2021 Col. Lam Paul Gabriel SPLA-IO Deputy Military.”

Upper Nile State Governor appoints Deputy Coordinator

The newly appointed Governor of Upper Nile State, Budhok Ayang Aney Kur, has issued a new gubernatorial decree, appointing Koang Tharjiath Thoch Chuol as Deputy Coordinator of Upper Nile State.

The Gubernatorial Decree

Gubernatorial order No. 08/2021 For the Appointment of Deputy Coordinator of Upper Nile State Coordination office in Juba.

Title and Commencement:—This Order shall be cited as gubernatorial order No.08/2021 For the Appointment of Deputy Coordinator of Upper Nile State Coordination office in Juba and shall come into force on the date of its signature by the Governor.

The Order:—In exercise of the powers conferred upon me under article 99(2) A of the Transitional Constitution of Upper Nile State 2011 and in reference with Presidential Decree No. 05/2021 dated on 05th February 2021.

I, Lt. Gen. Budhok Ayang Aney Kur, Governor of Upper Nile State do hereby issue this Gubernatorial Order for the appointment of Mr. Koang Tharjiath Thoch Chuol as Deputy Coordinator of Upper Nile State coordination office in Juba Issued under my hand and the seal of Upper Nile State government on this 22 day of February 2021 AD.

Gen. Olony refuses to take $2m in bribes from Kiir’s delegation

Johnson Olony Thambo |Photo : Via Facebook

A senior opposition official, General Johnson Olony Thambo, has reportedly refused to take a whopping $2 million in bribes from the Kiir administration.

According to a source in the SPLM-IO, the government delegation led by the Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs, Tut Gatluak Manime, tried to bribe Johnson and his team, but their attempts were unsuccessful.


“They tried to offer him $2 million of bribes, unfortunately, the opposition members [referring to Johnson Olony and this group] declined to take that money,” said a reliable source interviewed on Tuesday by the Thessherald.


On Monday, the South Sudanese officials returned to Juba after a short visit to Khartoum, where they met through the back door, with the SPLM-IO members in hopes of persuading them.

Kiir praises Machar for changing warmonger Johnson Olony

President Salva Kiir Mayardit commends FVP Dr. Riek Machar for changing General Johnson Olony |Photo: File

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of newly appointed governors, President Salva Kiir Mayardit commends First Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar for changing his mind and replacing General Johnson Olony.

On Friday, President Kiir issued a Republican decree appointing Budhok Ayang Kur as Governor of Upper Nile State and picked James Tor Monybuny as his Deputy.

“H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit presided over the swearing in ceremony of Hon. Budhok Ayang Kur as the Governor of Upper Nile State, Hon. Aleu Ayieny Aleu as the Governor of Warrap State and Hon. James Tor Monybuny as the Deputy Governor of Upper Nile State,” the Office of the President said in a statement on Saturday.

The oath-taking ceremony was officiated by President Kiir and was administered by Chief Justice Chan Reech Madut at the President’s Office in the capital, Juba.

“In attendance also were, The First Vice President H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Presidential Adviser on National Security Affairs Hon. Tut Gatluak Manime, Minister of Presidential Affairs Nhial Deng Nhial , Minister of National Security, Hon. Obuto Mamur Mete, Minister of General Education and Instruction Hon. Awut Deng Acuil, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec.”

“H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit said, he was happy when he got the letter from Dr. Riek Machar that he changed General Johnson Olony Thabo as his nominee for the sake of peace and security for the people of Upper Nile State after Johnson Olony Thabo declined the post two weeks ago.”

The President urged the newly appointed Governor and his Deputy to unite the people of Upper Nile State instead of sowing seeds of division.

“H.E. President Salva Kiir urged Hon. Budhok Ayang and Hon. James Tor Monybuny to work together to reconcile and unite the people of Upper Nile State.
H.E. President Salva Kiir said, the people of Upper Nile State are one blood and they should learn to co- exist and not fight with each other.”

President Salva Kiir urged the State Governors to get to work and bring for him their recommendations of States and local Governments officials for him to issue the decrees for appointments.


“H.E. President Salva Kiir urged Hon. Aleu Ayienyi to bring back law and order in Warrap state, H.E. President Salva Kiir said, he is confident that Aleu Ayieny Aleu will do his work to end hostilities in Tonj and Warrap State in General.”

On his part, the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar said he decided to replace General Johnson Olony after declining to be appointed as Governor.

Gen. Olony hints at abandoning SPLM-IO after his replacement

South Sudan's armed forces holding up their guns a sign of victory | Photo: File
South Sudan’s armed forces holding up their guns a sign of victory | Photo: File

A day after the opposition and the government agreed to appoint Abudhok Ayang Kur, the head of Agwelek forces, General Johnson Olony says he might have no options but to form his own party.

“Olony is devising strategies and may drop the SPLM-in-opposition soon after a recent spat over his replacement,” according to a source familiar with the issue.

This comes after President Kiir rejected to appoint him as Governor of Upper Nile State.

Since last year, the Kiir administration had refused Olony’s appointment, accusing him of being a warmonger and could plunge the country into yet another chao.

Breaking: Tensions flare up in Upper Nile as Gen. Olony rejects new Governor

SPLM-IO nominee, General Johnson Olony Thambo picture during a military briefing
SPLM-IO nominee, General Johnson Olony Thambo pictured during a military briefing in Upper Nile State |Photo: Unknown
SPLM-IO nominee, General Johnson Olony Thambo pictured during a military briefing in Upper Nile State |Photo: Unknown

Tensions in the region are reported to have reached boiling point hours following the controversial appointment of Abudhok Ayang Kur as the new governor of Upper Nile State.

On Friday evening, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit appointed Abudhok Ayang Kur as Governor of Upper Nile State and named James Tor Monybuny as his Deputy.

“A few days ago, we wrote to the Chairman Dr. Riek Machar Teny and we made it very clear to him that the leadership of the former Fashoda federal state is not for what he asked for. We haven’t changed that position yet and any change to the initial SPLM-IO nomination is not acceptable to us,” said General Johnson Olony in a statement extended to the media.

When asked if he’s going to steer a new course of action together with his leadership, General Olony asserted that an emergency meeting must be held urgently to chart the way forward.

“Of course this will not be my decision alone. There will be a wider decision and we will bring all the military leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) because if this is a violation, it will not be me alone who will work to say it because it is a collective job and then we will decide the way forward,” he added.

BREAKING: Kiir appoints Abudhok Ayang Kur, Governor of Upper Nile State

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit, in a Republican decree, has appointed, Abudhok Ayang Kur, as Governor of Upper Nile State and picked James Tor Monybuny, as his Deputy.

The Republican Decree Issued By The President

Republican Decree No.05/2021 for the Appointment of the Governor of Upper Nile State, 2021 A.D. 1.

1) Title and Commencement: This Decree shall be cited as “The Republican Decree No.05/2021 for the Appointment of the Governor of Upper Nile State, 2021 A.D.”, and shall come into force on the date of its signature by the President of the Republic.

2) The Decree: In exercise of the powers conferred upon me under Articles 165(1)(b) and 106A(2)(a) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 (as amended) read together with Article 1.9.2.1 of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) 2018.

I, Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, do hereby issue this Republican Decree for the Appointment of Hon. Budhok Ayang Kur as the Governor of Upper Nile State with effect from 29th January 2021.

Breaking: Fierce fighting erupts between SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces in Bankida

Fierce fighting broke out on January 26, 2020 between the SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces in Upper Nile State |Photo: Via Facebook

Fierce fighting broke out this morning between the SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces in Bankida, Upper Nile State, according to Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO Deputy Military Spokesperson.

“This morning the 26/01/2021 at about 8:00AM, a combined force of National Security forces, Tiger and the SSPDF attacked the SPLA-IO assembly area of Bankida in complete violations of the Permanent ceasefire.”

“The SPLA-IO forces tactically withdrew from Bankida on directives from the SPLA-IO High Command,” he added.

The main opposition group strongly condemned the flagrant violation of the Permanent Ceasefire and called on SSPDF forces to withdraw from the area.

“The SPLA-IO strongly condemn[s] this constant suicidal act of aggression against its forces and positions by forces of the SPLM-IG; and, is therefore, demanding a complete withdrawal of this combined force from Bankida as soon as possible to avoid the escalation of this provocative attack.”

“The SPLA-IO remains committed to the implementation of the Security Arrangements in particular and the R-ARCSS in general but it holds the right to self defence when attacked.”

Jikany, Padang leaders urge calm as ethnic violence rocks Upper Nile State

Former Governor of Upper Nile State, Simon Kun Puoch |Photo: Via Facebook

Leaders of Jikany and Padang communities are calling for peace in the wake of the recent revenge attacks that killed 12 people and left dozens wounded in Upper Nile State.

“The leaders of Jieng Padang and Jikany Nuer in the SPLM convened a briefed meeting at the SPLM House on 19th Jan 2021. Chaired by the former Governor of Upper Nile State Hon Simon Kun Puoch. This meeting was cognizance of the two incidents of attacks in Melut County in Upper Nile State.”

According to a statement extended by the former Speaker of Parliament of the now-defunct Maiwut state, Chuol Dep, the first attack took place on 13th Jan 2021, in Bai Ajak village, and is believed to have been carried out by suspected armed men from Nasir County and Ulang County, Upper Nile State.

“The attack left five innocent civilians dead, including two young men, a child, two women and an elderly person, but wounded more others. The attackers took over 500-700 heads of cattle, though later all cattle were recovered,” the statement further explained.

The second incident took place in Paloch on 14th Jan 2021, of which seven (7) civilians from Gajaak lost their lives and five others critically wounded.

“Due to these two bloody incidents in the State, leaders from the two Communities of Jieng Padang and Eastern Jikany Nuer expressed their sadness and grief for the tragedy in the State.”

The following are the Resolutions reached after the meeting to address the situation in question.

• We the leaders of these two communities are abhorred by violence incidents in Melut County, and condemned these attacks against the civilians in both Bai Ajak and Paloch in the strongest terms possible.

• We conveyed our heartfelt sympathies and Condolences to the bereaved families of Bai Ajak village, and also our Condolences to the family of our beloved Gajaak civilians killed in Paloch.

• Strongly appealed for the calm among the youth on both sides and work to restore peace immediately.

• We send this warning strongly to all anti-peace elements, to cease all forms of provocations and negative propaganda on social media.

• We urged all the youth to ease tensions in the Counties mentioned above, and to engage in dialogue as the only viable means to restore peaceful coexistence and stability in our State.

• Appealed to the Government of National Unity to apprehend these Criminals and bring them to justice. Appealed to all Organized Forces Stationed in area to protect Civilians lives and their property.

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