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S. Sudan’s Kiir fails to persuade defected army general: aide


May 31, 2014 (JUBA) – An attempt by South Sudan president, Salva Kiir to persuade an army general who recently defected to the country’s rebels has failed, a close aide told Sudan Tribune.

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File - South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (Reuters)

President Kiir, the official said on Saturday, sent his press secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi allegedly to convince Gen. Dau Aturjong to rescind his decision of join rebels.

“I am not aware of the official message the president had given Ateny Wek Ateny to carry to Dau Aturjong. I heard that it was Ateny because he used to share similar views with Dau and his group before his appointment as press secretary,” said the aide speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It was Ateny who proposed to the president that he would appreciate if allowed to go and talk to Dau and his group because he believes they would listen to him as one of their former friends and ally, so the president said okay”, he added.

It is remains unknown what message president Kiir had for the army general, with several government officials denying he sent a delegation, saying his spokesperson initiated the move.

Gen. Aturjong, the commander of the SPLA division 6, on Friday declared his defection to the opposition forces at a press conference he addressed in the Kenyan capital. He is a member of South Sudan’s largest community, the Dinka, and hails from Northern Bahr el Ghazal state,; the region with the biggest community population.

In 2010, however, the defected army commander contested for the gubernatorial seat to lead the state as an independent candidate and accused the SPLM-backed former governor, Gen Paul Malong Awan of allegedly rigging the votes in his favour to win.

The defection of the army official further underlines the growing political and the military challenges the regime grapples to address.

Ayii Ayii Akol, a former lawmaker who has now joined the rebels, confirmed that Gen. Aturjong indeed turned down Ateny’s request for a meeting in the Kenyan capital.

“We hear he had come and requested a meeting with us through agents, but we have refused the request because we are fully aware that nothing had come with him. We also know that nothing in the system has changed for him to come tell us,” said Akol.

“It is still the same system he used to criticise day and night when he was not appointed. So there is nothing that he would tell us”, he added.

Observers and analysts argue that the defection of such a high-profile figure from a community at the heart of the regime was a setback to president Kiir’s administration and could instigate more defections among junior officers and high-ranking soldiers.

“That would serve to weaken the security apparatus, but at the same time sharpen the sectarian nature of the conflict within Dinka community, the majority tribe in the country from which the president hails,” an analyst told Sudan Tribune.


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  • 1 June 2014 08:02, by Lotodo Awino Odug

    This man defected not because of money, he wants to go fight for his honor. Kiir is responsible for his defection, he has been patiently waiting for Malong to leave so as he can assume the position of governorship. Why was he snubbed in favor of Kuel Aguer, any answers please!!!!!!!!

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  • 1 June 2014 08:22, by Jubawe

    The message is clear few Dinka become realize that President Kirr is driving their tribe to hell in future nobody will need their integration and nobody will vote for any Dinka tribe no matter how good he or she is, all because of bad reputation within the same tribe, South Sudan citizen sick of Dinka tribe and Kirr too. Whatever goes around come around, anything have end soon Kirr will remove.

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    • 1 June 2014 08:37, by barbayo

      Bari will do what,Nuer and Dinka are brothers and Sisters you fought during Kakora time lead by Luka Kana Manoja as secretary General kakora killing Nuer and Dinka

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  • 1 June 2014 08:27, by barbayo

    Dinka community can not fight for themselves because Dau or Molang Awan ,president Kiir turn his eye so long to Gen Dau Aturjong and took Molang Awan as best friend without looking capacity of Gen Dau Aturjong
    Dau has gone not to make as president ,but to show his sadness not happy with president kiir and Malong Awan ,those pushed Aturjong tojoined rebel includeMalong A ,Kuel Aguer Angu Diing

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  • 1 June 2014 08:59, by barbayo

    President Kiir suppose to come with new strategy to prevent frequency joining rebel led by Raik Machar ,
    1 strategy president Kiir to send Aweil Community elders their areas to talk with communities in Aweil
    2 President should not listening to few individuals as clique.
    3 all retired army Generals should back to SPLA

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  • 1 June 2014 12:54, by Mapuor

    President is a charismatic leader and always works for peaceful resolution of problems.Dau Aturjong should know that it was the same Kiir who advised Garang to promote Anya-Nya two guys before their peers who were fresh students.This gave Aweil and Gogrial advantage over the other districts of greater B.G.R.Making them almost equal to greater Upper Nile guys.Is this the only reward that

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    • 1 June 2014 13:00, by Mapuor

      you could offer Mayardit.Do you want to reverse the high ranks that you guys got because of Kiir advice.I hope you very well remember the tests that were given to you guys when you were commissioned or confirmed as officers.You along with Upper Nile thugs who were captains since 1986 did not fight battles but were pushed rearward by ranks several miles away from the battlefields.

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      • 1 June 2014 13:06, by Mapuor

        When you got the rank of general along with greater Upper Nile thugs,you looted SPLA money and then decided to use the money for gaining Gubernatorial positions.Dau did it,Athor did it too.Do you think SPLA money were your family money.Kusumkum.Thieves,president Kiir will rule for life will come what may.

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        • 1 June 2014 13:10, by Mapuor

          I mean. President Kiir will rule for life come what may.

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          • 1 June 2014 14:19, by Akook

            Mapuor haha haha hahahahahahaaa.......can’t stop laughing
            You have nothing to say better keep quiet

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          • 1 June 2014 16:38, by Reuben

            i know majorityof Dinka like Mapuor are not happy because they want to maintain the statue quo of dominating every governmental department in RSS.Once a few developmental and justice seeking dinka like Aturjong takes different side,the other side runs crazy becase they are worried the collaspe of Dinka kingdom is eminent."A kingdom that divides will not servive".

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      • 1 June 2014 16:30, by Reuben

        Mapuor you wrote:
        "Do you want to reverse the high ranks that you guys got because of Kiir advice" Kow that this army General is not after post.He is after good governants which Mayerdit lucks.had it been of post, he would not defect to the opposition.He vision he dreams for can only be offered by the opposition under DR riak.He refused in its totally bribe from Ateny Wek Ateny.I know majority o

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  • 1 June 2014 19:55, by Gaddfa

    it is only in south Sudan where justice seekers are condemn excessively compare to those who actually sleep awake and make sure that they will cause more injustice to people because they are powerful. Gen. Dau Aturjong has ever right to protest his right, right of Aweil people and the right of entire Nation at large. remember Gen. Dau was robbed of his right in 2010 elections but he kept quite.

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