Militia Leader Accepts Presidential Amnesty, To Work For Peace

Former rebel leader Lt. Gen. Johnson Olony Thobdak (left) received by SPLA in Upper Nile State. [Jok P Mayom]

Olony was received by the SPLA information department Brig. Gen. Malaak Ayuen Ajok delegated from Juba, the commissioner of Fashoda County Mr. Jokino Pedalle Nyikayo, and SPLA Head of sector II in Division Seven of Upper Nile State Gen. Johnson Gony Beliu.

Gen. Olony admitted receiving support from the Khartoum government during his militia attacks and said it was now time to work together to fulfil the dream of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.

Gen. Olony during his speech at the military function in Lul said that he has come with a total of 38 vehicles and 3,119 soldiers with ammunitions.

Olony was received by SPLA delegates in Lul payam of Fashoda County located 35 kilometres North West of Upper Nile state capital, Malakal.

“This is the time to forget the things that happened in the past and start work together as people of South Sudan for the betterment of the country,” said Olony.

Meanwhile the SPLA head of information Department Brig. Gen. Malaak Ayuen Ajok welcomed the move taken by Olony and should feel free while at home.

“You are not new to the people of South Sudan, or even to People of Upper Nile, Shilluk Kingdom and the SPLA soldiers so you will just be part of us. Relax and join your own brothers,” Ayuen told the militia groups in Lul.

Brig. Gen. Ayuen reiterated South Sudan’s earlier position that neighbouring Sudan has been providing all types of support to different militia groups used as mercenaries to fight a proxy war against the young nation.

Ayuen said while in Lul that their coming to Lul was to welcome the rebel militia leader, Lt. Gen. Olony and his forces, adding that peace will prevails in the country.

Ayuen stressed that Khartoum’s claims that South Sudan supports the Sudan People Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebels were baseless, adding that the southern regime had no connection with the north-based rebel group.

Olony forces are the third militia group to accept the presidential amnesty ran in April.

The first groups came last year with the vehicle and ammunition under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Johnson Dak Yien, and the second group led by Lt. Gen. Bapiny Monytuil, Karlos Kuol crossed in from Sudan into Unity State’s Mayom County in April with around 3,000 armed men who are also waiting to be transferred into the military.

General Johnson Gony Biliu, the commander of the SPLA’s sector II in Malakal, congratulated Lt. Gen. Olony and his forces for the positive response to the amnesty saying it will create ample atmosphere for peace.

Meanwhile the Shilluk representative and the entire people of Upper Nile State appreciated the coming of Olony saying that it will boost the peace process and development of the country. 

Speaking in Juba last week the SPLA spokesperson Philip Aguer said the incorporation of Olony’s rebel group into SPLA has marked the end of armed struggle in Upper Nile State.

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