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The Arrest of Maj. Gen. Mamuor Is Targeting Nuer and Equatorians of the SPLA

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The Arrest of Maj. Gen. Mamuor Is Targeting Nuer and Equatorians of the SPLA

Press Release

Equatoria Professionals in Europe (EPE), Equatoria Solidarity International (ESI) and Union of Nuer Community in North America (UNCONA)

March, 24, 2007

The leadership of the three communities is extremely disturbed by the conspiracy behind the illegal detention of the deputy chief-of-staff, Maj. Gen. Isaac Mabuto Mamuor. Our investigation of the reasons behind the detention of the SPLA general discovered frightening state of affairs within the SPLA army. The real reasons for the detention of Mabuto Mamuor go back to the days of the late Dr. John Garang.

The SPLA’s spokesman, Maj. Gen. Kuol Diem Kuol said that Mamuor was arrested because of: 1. “illegal importation of arms, and because he sent troops to Uganda for training without the knowledge of the army. 2. He hired three members of the Ugandan army as drivers. These were added to a group of some 50 bodyguards and drivers, which is more than the eight staff allowed for SPLA personnel of his rank. 3. He has been continuing to sign contracts for the provision of food to the ex-SSDF soldiers in Juba long after his mandate to do so end”. These are three reasons given by the SPLA for the arrest of Mamuor.


Maj. Gen. Kuol added that “The Commander in Chief has ordered staff to form an investigation committee to check if charges are true or not, if they are not true he will go back to his duties, if found to be true, he will face court martial”. In military law, an army officer cannot be suspended before the charges are investigated and authenticated. In civilized militaries, unlike rebel armies led by tribalists, there are legal procedures that have to be met before detaining an officer.


In most Western jurisdictions, military laws provide generous protections to defendants before a case goes to trial. These include complete pretrial discovery, allowing defendants free access to witnesses and evidence, as well as a requirement that prosecutors reveal the names of witnesses who will be called during all stages of the trial. In addition, the government must provide defendants with expert witnesses at its own expense; judges may delay or dismiss trials if prosecutors fail to do so. The military judge is empowered to hear pretrial motions on a broad range of issues, ranging from alleged violations of the defendant's constitutional rights to the admissibility of evidence. Before the case is heard, defendants have the choice of trial by judge or jury, and enlisted members can request that at least one-third of the court be enlistees. Defendants may also elect to be provided with military counsel or to hire a civilian attorney.


A military court martial is similar to criminal trial; however, that is not the case in South Sudan where the only law applicable to the SPLA is tribalism. In United States, courts-martial are preceded by a formal investigation just as civilian criminal courts are the result of work by police officers and prosecutors. During questioning, military suspects have the same Fifth Amendment right to remain silent as do civilians. Civilian police officers must read a suspect the Miranda rights at the time of arrest. Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice requires military investigators to go even further: as soon as suspicion focuses on a suspect during interrogation, they must advise her or him of the right to remain silent. This stringent requirement places a higher burden on military investigators to protect suspects' rights, and it can later become grounds for the dismissal of charges if it is not followed.


In the case of Mamuor, no pre-arrest investigation was conducted to find out whether the allegations against him can stand in the military court. Gen. Mamuor was not read his constitutional rights and was not even accorded a lawyer to defend him from the charges. Until then, Mamuor has no lawyer and those investigating the case are the very people who concocted the allegations for tribal reasons. There is no formal judge who is presiding over the case, only tribal fundamentalists of the SPLA are appointed as both judges and prosecutors while the defendant has no defense team to challenge them. Worst of all, those who accused him and abrogated to themselves the right to judge him have no legal education. They were trained by the late Dr. Garang with the law of the jungle which is predicated on eliminating potential rivals and perceived enemies.


The three charges stated by the SPLA spokesman, Major Gen. kuol Diem Kuol, cannot persuade a court of Neanderthals, let alone Homo sapiens, who made planes to fly in the sky. The first charge against Mamuor is that he had been “illegally importing arms, and because he sent troops to Uganda for training without the knowledge of the army”. This charge implies that Mamuor is planning a coup; otherwise, it cannot stand in court because the SPLA signed a military pact with Ugandan Defense Force in January to train together and share everything from intelligence to regional security. Mamuor might have sent his own forces for training to Uganda because Lt. Gen. Kiir has been sending only Dinka of the SPLA for training abroad since the formation of the government of the South. For instance, there are sixty SPLA officers being trained in Debrezeit, Ethiopia since 2006. All of them are from Dinka ethnic group. Other SPLA soldiers sent to other African countries are exclusively from Dinka tribe. That could compel a person like Mamuor to make a deal with Ugandans to send non-Dinkas for training. The reason that Mamuor sent a platoon to Uganda for training does not prove that he was planning a coup.


The second charge that Mamuor “ hired three members of the Ugandan army as drivers” should be considered as tribal joke because Ugandan Defense Forces have been in South Sudan even before the signing of the CPA. Mamuor is not the only general who befriended Ugandans; it was an order from the late Dr. Garang that all SPLA commanders should cooperate with Ugandan forces to get rid of the LRA. If Mamuor should be charged for having drivers from Ugandan defense forces, perhaps Lt. Gen. Kiir should be charged for allowing Ugandan forces to operate in South Sudan along side the SPLA to fight the LRA. If that is not the case, the arrest of Mamuor for having Ugandan drivers is implying that President Museveni had conspired with him to overthrow Dinka government. People would expect Salva Kiir to expel Ugandan forces from South Sudan for the allegations against Mamuor to be believed by the public.


The third charge against Mamuor is a warning against Lt. Gen. Matip that he is the next target. The charge alleged that Mamuor “has been continuing to sign contracts for the provision of food to the ex-SSDF soldiers in Juba long after his mandate to do so end”. It is true that Mamuor had been providing money and food to Paulino Matip forces since the signing of Juba Declaration on Jan, 9th, 2006. One reason is that Mamuor was heading up a committee overseeing the integration of the former other armed group, the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF) of Paulino Matip into the SPLA in 2006 and could not withstand the starvation Paulino Matip’s forces are going through. A day before the arrest of Mamuor, 1500 Nuer of Matip left Juba for Unity State because they were denied their monthly salaries. Matip’s forces received their salaries after ten months in Oct. 2005. Until then, they have not been given any penny to feed their families forcing Mamuor to act charitably to attend to their daily needs. If such an act is a crime, it means that the SPLA tribalists consider Juba Declaration as a toilet paper and the next move would be the arrest of Paulino Matip himself. If Matip and his aides are not seeing it, perhaps they are not intelligent military leaders and may require survival trainings.


Sources close to Mamuor revealed that the SPLA Dinka are concerned with the level of understanding between the Nuer and Equatorians of the army. The only notable Equatorian army officer who is allergic to Dinka tribalism since 1991 is Mabuto Mamuor. This is the man who survived so many attempts to assassinate him by the late Dr. Garang, who even consulted with tribal witchcraft to help kill him. In Rumbek Conference of 2004, Commander Mamuor called Garang “a liar who has been lying to the people of South Sudan since 1983”. However, Garang’s boys in the SPLA have succeeded to arrest him at last because Paulino Matip persuaded him to put down his guns just for the sake of South Sudan survival.


Our communities appeal to President George W. Bush to take tribalism within the SPLA seriously. Otherwise, the United States would one day wake up in the morning and hear that a war breaks out between the Dinka and non-Dinka of the SPLA to the detriment of the peace the United States paid a lot of money to realize. Had it not been for George W. Bush, CPA could not have been signed. Southerners owe a lot to American people.



Dr. Luka Odiong, Chair of EPE

Mr. Victor Charles Adeba, Spokesman of ESI

Capt. John Gatluak Kam, President of UNCONA


For contact: [email protected]


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