S. Sudanese rebels accuse Ethiopian governor of receiving bribe from Juba

May 7, 2015 (GAMBELLA, ETHIOPIA) – Members of the South Sudan’s rebels led by former vice-president, Riek Machar, on Thursday accused the governor of Ethiopia’s Gambella region, Gatluak Tut Kot, of allegedly receiving bribe from the government in Juba to allow SPLA forces to launch attacks from parts of the region.

Rebel fighters aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar march in a village inside rebel-controlled territory in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state on 9 February 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

The source which Sudan Tribune was not able to immediately verify claimed that governor Kot had been given 3.5 million South Sudanese pound ($1 million) as bribe in order to allow Western Gambella region to be used by president Salva Kiir’s government as a launching pad against the rebel positions.

A government’s delegation comprising of senior officials including Upper Nile state’s governor, Simon Kun Puoc, reportedly visited Gambella town for a meeting with the governor.

Attempts today by Sudan Tribune to contact the Gambella governor were unsuccessful.

Nuer community all over the world in US, Australia Canada, UK, South Sudan as well as Ethiopia are said to have condemned the move made by Gambella president for his decisions to make the alleged agreement.

The source added that the local populations in Gambella and South Sudan refugees at camps in Gambella, are staging protest against the governor’s move.

“The rally is underway to take place any time where they would be marching from Newland to Baro Hotel in Gambella where the South Sudan guests are being accommodated,” he said.

South Sudan government has sent delegation from Juba to Gambella Ethiopia on Wednesday to attend the joint Ethio-South Sudan border meeting.

The meeting aims to strengthen border trade and security arrangement for smooth relationships of the communities along the border with same communal interests ahead of Ethiopian’s general election due to be held later this month.

Besides that, the source added that South Sudan defence minister Kuol Manyang Juk and Simon Kun Puoch the governor of Upper Nile are going to hold separate meeting with the Gambella regional governor to finalise the deals.

“They will discuss the establishment of new war-fronts in Western part of Ethiopia where their forces should be trained and the same time launching offensive against rebel positions in Pagak and Maiwut to control rebels strong holds” a rebel official told Sudan Tribune, on condition of anonymity.

The visit comes two days after it was revealed that South Sudanese border counties with Ethiopia made a cooperation agreement to tackle challenges at the border.


Meanwhile the rebels accused South Sudan government of continuing with violation of the ceasefire agreement.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the rebels alleged government forces had attacked their positions in several war fronts in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states.

“On 5th of May 2015, the government forces carried out deadly attack on innocent civilians in Guit county of Unity state after Nhial Diu and Jezira’s attacks,” partly reads the statement.

They said government forces and its allies raided 5,700 heads of cattle, burned down hundreds of civilian local houses and raped young girls and women.

They called on the IGAD monitoring and verification team (MVT) and UN to carry out assessment in those affected areas.


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