December 20, 2011 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese rebel leader and renegade general, George Athor, has been killed, announced the country’s Vice-President Riek Machar Teny in a press conference held in the capital Juba today.
Earlier in the day, Athor was reported to be under siege by South Sudan’s army, SPLA, in Morobo country in Central Equatoria state.
- Southern Sudan rebel leader George Athor (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
According to Teny, Athor was killed yesterday, Monday, in Morobo near the capital, Juba.
The circumstances of his alleged death are unclear at the moment but Athor’s rebel group on Sunday claimed it had aborted an attempt to kill him.
One of Athor’s wives told Sudan Tribune she suspects her husband may have been killed because she lost contact with him since Monday.
Athor has been leading a rebellion against the government of South Sudan since he defected from the SPLA in 2010 after he was announced to be the loser of gubernatorial elections in Jonglei State, where he stood as an independent candidate.
His rebellion has been one of the biggest security threats that faced South Sudan since it became an independent country this year.
Hundreds of people have been killed this year in clashes between Athor’s men and the SPLA.
More updates to follow