June 28, 2011 (JUBA) – The renegade former deputy chief of general staff in
South Sudan army, General George Athor Deng, is organizing his forces to launch
massive attack inside the South before the region’s declaration of
independence on July 9, the army stated.
- A survivor of a massacre by rebel forces on the town of Fangak displays a bullet in front of burnt houses in Fangak, southern Sudan Thursday, April 7, 2011 - (AP)
Philip Aguer, the spokesman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), in a
televised message on SSTV on Monday announced the intention of the militia
leader, Athor, allied to the Khartoum government to destabilize the region.
Aguer said the army has reliable information that forces loyal to George Athor
are being assembled and organized in the North Sudan’s Senar state which borders
the Upper Nile state of South Sudan to launch attacks targeting the disputed
areas between North and South Sudan as the region prepares to formally become
independent in less than two weeks time.
The army spokesman accused the Khartoum government of supporting and arming the
rebels and unleashing them to disrupt the process of smooth road to independence
of the region.
Aguer further explained that forces allied to another rebel leader Major General
Peter Gatdet Yak are responsible for this week’s attack in Warrap state’s Twic
County which left dozens of people dead and many others wounded.
Officials in South Sudan suspect forces loyal to the former advisor to President
Salva Kiir, Abdel Bagi Ayii, for the attacks in Warrap state. Ayii, who
reportedly recruits his supporters from Warrap state and Northern Bahr el
Ghazal, from where he hails, is also allied to Peter Gatdet, who recruits most
of his supporters from Unity state.
Warrap state officials said the attack in the state was quelled but the
attackers managed to hide among the local population of the community in the
They further explained that the attackers who wanted to establish their base in
Turalei, Twic County, also targeted tens of thousands of displaced persons from
Abyei who were based in the area.
Aguer further accused the Khartoum government of targeting the disputed oilfields including Higlig in Unity state’s Pariang County, which lies at the North-South border.
George Athor, who recruits most of his supporters from his home state of
Jonglei, was the first high ranking officer in South Sudan army to rebel against
the government since its formation in 2005 following the signing of the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended 21 years of war between North and South
He rebelled in May 2010, citing elections rigging in Jonglei state, after
independently losing to his rival, Kuol Manyang Juuk, the current state governor
who was backed by the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
The army spokesperson assured the South Sudan population that the region’s army is
ready to expel any attacks from all the Khartoum-backed militias in the region.