Nimule, 08.05.2019, An American soldier of fortune, a former US marine officer, Mr Wes Bentley has been in South Sudan for almost two decades. First, he worked(officially for a charity, not for profit organization) in the Upper Nile region, then the Republic of Sudan. However, in fact, Bentley was a covert soldier of fortune -- involved in arms trafficking, training warlords, etc.
In mid 2005s after he opened his "private army company" commonly known as "Far Reaching Ministries", Bentley and his wife Vicky have since been working in Nimule.
Though the official mission of FRM is charity and provision of Christian education and counselling, the organization has ventured into several areas -- some are very dubious!
FRM tried to buy some plots in Jeleyi, the northern part of Nimule for supposedly starting a university. Bentley's venture didn't go through. He was supposedly blocked by the wildlife authorities who said the area is part of Nimule park, though it is not. An informant with deep knowledge of the deal said it was actually president Salva Kiir who blocked FRM because the area in question was already secretly given to Kiir by some native politicians. So the deal failed.
Last year Bentley through FRM is said to have offered the Boma chiefs of Nimule, 1,000 USD each, to allow him to build a cultural centre, which FRM will use for several years, before handing it to the community. However after the chiefs took the money, they declined to give the land. So here again, Bentley's deal didn't go through.
To some insiders within FRM, Bentley is known for bribing political leaders and warlords of South Sudan to win their favour. According to some well-placed informants within FRM, some of Bentley's beneficiaries are: Pageri County Commissioner, Emilio Igga (for whom FRM has built a big house), Gen. Obutu Mamur, Gen. J. J. Okot, Pastor Alahai Michail and Lino Mayor.
A man of a lavish lifestyle, Bentley is also an arrogant man, with a sharp and arrogant tongue. Recently one of his subordinates heard him saying jokingly, that "he will fence the whole of Nimule as his property". Unfortunately, in a country like South Sudan, where the government hardly audit organizations working within its jurisdictions, FRM can do anything and Bentley can say anything -- with impunity!
An old man who said his land has been grabbed, recently lamented, "the white man has money and his friends the generals have the guns -- hence the power. There is nothing I can do to them. But the God of our forefathers will audit him, sooner and later. And the results will be very hash!"