A New Military Command Structure for Greater Upper Nile Region
Senior commanders of the South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF), Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the South Sudan Unity Army (SSUA), all from the Greater Upper Nile Region, met in Central Upper Nile, from 2-4 November 1999 to review and evaluate the political and military situation in the Sudan with special focus on the fighting in Western Upper Nile.
The commanders discussed in detail the position of the National Islamic Front towards the Khartoum Agreement and its systematic violation. The commanders also discussed the ongoing production and export of oil of south Sudan by the National Islamic Front government against the wishes of the people of south Sudan and its serious implications on the struggle for national self-determination and liberation.
The meeting further listened carefully to a detailed report presented by both Cdr. Peter Gadet Yak and Cdr. Tito Biel Chuor about the genocidal war that has been unleashed on the whole people of Western Upper Nile (Bentiu) by the NIF government with the clear intention of ethnic cleansing and to depopulate the areas of the oil fields.
Furthermore, the commanders discussed the position and role of Dr. Riek Machar in the struggle in the context of the evolving military situation and recognised the fact that he can no longer play any role in the renewed and rapidly escalating military situation in the Upper Nile region.
After meticulous discussion of the above issues, the undersigned commanders unanimously resolved the following:-
- Formation of a unified military leadership to be known as the Upper Nile Provisional Military Command Council (UMCC) that will be the supreme military authority over all their military forces in Upper Nile.
- That the Khartoum Agreement has been dismantled beyond repair by the NIF government leaving military forces in the south with no option but armed struggle to achieve justice and freedom.
- That the Provisional Military Command Council shall be responsible to a political body to be formed after adequate consultation among the political cadres of Upper Nile region. This consultation should take place within a reasonable time.
- That SSDF and all its units has de-linked itself from the NIF government as of today, 4 November 1999 and has therefore resumed the armed struggle and will work and cooperate with all the political and military forces that are fighting against the NIF regime.
- The Provisional Military Command Council is open to any armed group in Upper Nile that is ready to fight for liberation of south Sudan provided that any such group has completely de-linked itself from the NIF government.
Composition of the Provisional Military Command Council
The Provisional Military Command Council shall consist of the following members:-
- Cdr. Peter Bol Kong, Chairman
- Cdr. James Yiech Biet, Deputy Chairman
- Cdr. Kuong Donhier Gatluak, Secretary
- Cdr. David Reath Malual
- Cdr. Tito Biel Chour
- Cdr. Peter Gatdet Yak
- Cdr. Nyang Chuol Dhuor
- Cdr. Timothy Taban Juc
- Cdr. Duoth Nhial Pec
- Cdr. Ochan Top
- Cdr. Choul Gakha Yir
- Cdr. Chot Rik Pathot
- Cdr. David Gatluak Damai
- Cdr. Lainya Wolga
- Cdr. John Gargash Nhial
- Cdr. Michael Top Yai
Functions of the Council
The Council shall have the following functions:-
- It shall be the supreme military authority.
- It shall be responsible for the strategic planning and execution of the war of liberation.
- It shall reorganise all the military forces in the various military areas in Upper Nile.
- It shall mobilise old soldiers and fresh recruits into its military formations. The Council will not recruit children under age fifteen and will develop a plan for demobilising child soldiers.
- It shall set up military courts and confirm or void their decisions.
- It shall ensure military discipline among the forces.
- It shall supervise military operations in all areas.
- Members of the Council shall be assigned duties as may be determined by the Council.
- It shall exercise control over the distribution of military logistics.
- It shall have final decision on all operational matters.
- Decisions of the Council shall be taken by simple majority.
- It shall decide on all matters concerning promotion of officers, NCOS and men.