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A Huge Rift within Taban Deng’s Faction Occurs

PAGAK BRIDGE – In a serious of a report received by the Upper Nile Times written on August 23, 2017, indicated that the faction allied to the renegade General Taban Deng Gai, who defected on July 9, 2016, during the renewed clashes in the Capital Juba, is experiencing a serious of a rift fitting Taban’s supporters against each other.

The report indicated that Governor Bol Ruach Rom on the side of Taban has been accused by Ambassador Buay Maleak and Steven Pouch Riek, the official executive Director-office of the minister of petroleum, for failing to execute the expected duties diligently.  Some of the issues as labelled against Governor Bol Ruach appeared in the following order as:

  1. That I become habitual drunkard unable to smoothly run the affairs of Maiwut State;
  2. That I mistreat and ill-treat SPLA officers based on ethnicity and/or clans;
  3. That I failed to command the supports of  Maiwut State civilians;
  4. That I failed to conceptualize and operationalize cooperation agreement with Ethiopian Authorities at Border to clear out rebels from border towns; and
  5. That I have contacts with rebels.

On his part Mr. Rom stated “I wish to categorically dismiss and refute all the above mentioned accusations as blackmail,” he said.  Mr. Rom also refuted that “I don’t drink habitually but on weekends like any official in RSS and this can’t and won’t affect the smooth running of Maiwut Affairs. Besides, I am at front here and drinking becomes necessary sometimes to suppress stresses and command the soldiers to fight; I don’t mistreat or ill-treat SPLA officers; what happens is disciplining of undisciplined officers and not based on ethnicity but rather on martial laws taking into account the immense and frequent offensive attacks of rebels; Regarding civilians support, well it is obvious that they still believe in Riek Machar weak and poor leadership and what is why they always run away whenever we capture any area. This is not my mistake but I think we need to work out means and ways to command civilians support; In regards to operationalization of cooperation agreement with Ethiopia, I have tried all my best including bribery but it is difficult because civilians on Ethiopian side are staunch sympathisers of Riek Machar;this also not my failure; and I don’t and can’t have contacts with rebels. In fact, I am the most wanted person by rebels,” he stated.

Mr. Rom continued to say “therefore, I assure your Excellency that the above mentioned accusations are baseless fabricated by the duo to tarnish my good reputation so as to put the trust bestowed upon me into jeopardy. The duo are best known for blackmailing, nothing more nothing less.  At this juncture, I demand apology from these guys or otherwise, I would tender my resignation to your esteemed office,” he said.

Before wrapping up his letter, Mr. Rom stated that “the forces have no morale to fight the rebels because they haven’t received any salary since January 2017 and also because we have ran out of munitions and therefore commanding has proven very hard.  Please, accept the assurance of my highest regards,” he concluded.

The government offensive led by Bol Ruach Rom and Nhial Batoang that was staged against SPLM-IO strong hold has displaced more than 30,000 people to Ethiopia.  As the place is known for its being a strategic location, both the opposition forces and government forces have been trading claims of each side controlling Pagak.  As indicated in this report by Bol Ruach Rom, it is clearly appeared that the government forces are facing hardship as they have no way out, but to only surrender to the opposition forces should their government failed to rescue them.  Stay tune!




Philip Gual: An Upper Nile State correspondent for The Upper Nile Times. He currently resides in Malakal, Upper Nile State.