South Sudan rebel military command denies defection of Generals

SPLA-IO Spokesman Col. William Gatjiath. Photo: File
SPLA-IO Spokesman Col. William Gatjiath. Photo: File

Pagak/Addis Ababa, December 31, 2016 (SSNA) – The office of the Spokesman for South Sudanese armed opposition forces has denied reports that some SPLA-IO Generals have defected and joined a splinter group led by the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai.

Sudan Tribune (ST) reported Friday that a group of the SPLA-IO Generals and officers have defected to Gai’s faction.

“We have switched our support to First Vice President of South Sudan and Commander in Chief of SPLM/SPLA-IO, Taban Deng and to petroleum minister, Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth, for the implementation of the peace agreement. We have concluded that Machar has failed to lead the SPLM/SPLA-IO movement into the right direction,” the group told ST.

However, the office of the rebel military Spokesman denied the defection report. In a statement obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA), the armed opposition military command says there is no such a thing as defection, adding some of individuals named in the report were in the SPLA-IO but dismissed long time ago because they were parts of the First Vice President group.

“The leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) would like to inform the people of South Sudan and the world at large that none of the generals from SPLA/IO in Pagak defected to Taban affiliated group,” the statement reads in part.

“This is a groundless report with no evident,” the SPLA-IO states.

In the document, the office of the SPLA-IO states that Michael Paul Dak, Mun Bach Thoch, and Dobuol Wuor Diew who identified themselves in the report as officers are not even known in the armed opposition military hierarchy, adding that the individuals have been roaming between refugee camps and Gambella region of Ethiopia after they fail to join their leader Taban Deng Gai in Juba.

“These officers were dismissed from SPLM/A-IO long time ago along with General Taban and they have been roaming around all this time between Kule One Refugees camp and Gambella of Ethiopia since they got no chance to reach Juba where their master bases. This could be a big mistake of misinforming the public, misleading and misrepresenting their position as members of SPLA-IO,” the document further explained.

Major Dickson Gatluak Jock, Deputy Spokesperson for the SPLA-IO also disclosed that a Sudanese rebel movement known as Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) which has in the past been accused of supporting South Sudan’s government is being supply with weapons, food, and ammunition by Kiir’s government. Jock added that there are currently 21 Matrix trucks coming from Uganda to Nuba Mountains.

The armed opposition declared there is no physical act of defection in rebel headquarters Pagak and that nobody even hears the defection report because the people claiming to be deserting the SPLM/A-IO have no credibility or capacity within the rebel movement.

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9 Comments. Leave new

  • I met those guys who claim to be general in Addis. Desperate for money and recognition. There’s is now a very bad culture emerging among naath,where betrayer are allowed to rom and dine with us without being shown that their action is wrong. Naath become desensitized to the great pain that Jaang has causes among nuer. Pain or tragedy supposed to Unite a family, Unite a community, Unite a tribe, and Unite a country. I am disheartening about what has gone wrong with naath strong community tie. Some of these money lovers know the consequences of their actions, but they have abandoned to ever going back home to their own mother because of food.

    • As citizen of a country no body should beg for. respect regardless weather tall or short person war is a solution

  • Let them bark IO will not forgive them.

  • The issue is not people being bought by money. It is the issue of lack of vision, no clear objective and lies. More defection is going to happen and many of you will not believe their eyes and ears when the defection start. You are trying to blame people who have made right decisions of working for peace. Those who are still planning for a war will never get a place in the East African Community. Soon the trouble makers will be deported if they continue to publish lies. So humbly accept the defection of these three generals and more are to follow

  • Alex,
    You people for once try to imagine what naath people are going through. Without proper response from you dinka, who has committed a great crime in 2013 then my friend, you can lie to yourself, bribe few nuer, but at the end of the victory is certain. If you can be honest, do you have a close nuer friend right now? If, not, did you have one before 2013? If so, then what have changed? The truth is those greedy nuer constitute a small number. What we need now is determined leader. Gatmchar is peacemaker. He doesn’t have a heart of a nuer. Look, his own son was killed in Juba, yet he still talk peace. Pray that, he is allowed to come back to South Sudan, otherwise expect more bloodshed.

  • This Guy looks like a Congolese singer to me.

  • To those who forget the history of spla/m allow me for the first time as we say thank u for 2016 and look forward to 2017 and remind u of the circumstances which led us to this agonizing and painful time in the history of South Sudan.
    1. During the inception of spla/m in 1983 – 84 there existed a liberation movement- Anya Nya 2 which has all the elements that unite us as one and the vision we realized in 2011— an independent republic of South Sudan. The first acts of war by spla/m was the destruction of this movement and is eventual killing of its great and visionary leader Samuel Gai Tut
    2. The second acts of war by spla/m was against the Gajaak people and the entire eastern Jekany Nuer- with waves of invasion after invasion as village after village was burned and destroyed with no regards for human life… Women, children, men and the elderly all alike perished – not to mention property.
    3. It’s one thing for the president to recruit and train a private militia organ from his own village or community, But it’s another thing for the president to deploy and demarcate Juba days before the eventual killing of innocent Nuer people between Dec 15 to 19 in which a search of door to door, street to street was conducted seeking any one who bear the name Nuer.
    4. During this door to door killings and the subsequent events which ensued, the level of cruelty and savagery employed was beyond normal human comprehension. It defies logic and reason by any virus. Forcing Nuer to eat and feed on the flesh of their dead loved ones , the methods used in carrying out rape against young girls and women and the suffocating of people in a container… Just to name few. This is an act of great evils against the Nuer people . And to those few disgruntled and sell out Nuer who want to use this trajedy as an opportunity to gain power and material wealth know that Ran ke thuok Naath e kuoth. There is an innate being in us made in the image and the likeness of God And what a shame to betray such a precious and innocent bloods who perished on those horrible days of December 2013 because they were Nuer – for few material gains . Diit loac nonge duer ka duer nonge lia. Any Nuer person who think this government is for all is wrong and u need to rethink ur position in this conflict. History will judge all of us where we stand in time of this crisis.. God bless u all and God bless the innocent lives lost . Let stand together with one voice in unity and solidarity for a common cause and withstand and defeat this evils of our time

  • This is fabrication from government of kiir to lure those are in needed the money to sell their children who were just killed by regime. Like spoke person mentioned these are criminals and they are not even in ranks of SPLA IO.

  • Nhial Bang Biel
    January 4, 2017 6:36 am

    Comment *
    Guys If one person defected with our military forces what would be the benefit ?
    meaning less
    I think that all general who defected are street beggar,


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