Home | News    Sunday 15 June 2014

Lakes state soldiers return home after deserting positions over unpaid salaries


June 13, 2014 (RUMBEK) – Over 300 soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA), of which 167 are from Lakes state, have deserted their military bases in Upper Nile state and returned home.

The soldiers expressed their disappointment at the SPLA management, accusing its leadership of failing to pay their salaries for six months.

An officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said that decision was taken to withdraw from the conflict zone areas due to the non-payment of salaries and the economic hardships faced by their families at home.

The 2012 ban on the sale of alcohol, of which many Lakes state women were dependent for their livelihood, has left them without any alternative source of income.

“We have withdrawn because this comrade [Lakes state governor] Matur Chut Dhuol have also abused our children and wives on several occasions – he suspend sale of alcohol and [there is] no economic alternative for our children,” the officer said.

“We are on [the] frontline and our children have no school or good place to stay and our life is in danger,” he added.

The officer said the governor had failed to take care of orphans and war widows, adding that it was not worth being killed or injured on the frontline if their wives and children were going to be abandoned.

“It is better I remain poor while alive and to raise my children like any ordinary citizen of South Sudan,” he said.

After leaving their positions many of the soldiers occupied Rumbek’s freedom square before travelling onto their villages in Lakes state or other areas in the Bahr el Gazal region on Saturday.

The officer said Lakes state and South Sudan would fall apart if the leadership continued to ignore the interests of its citizens continued to be ignored.

“Now you can hear from [president] Salva Kiir to maintain [the] governor also in power while our interest is not served, than, the solution is that we must put down [our] arms,” the officer said.

Last month 68 soldiers were admitted to Rumbek Hospital following clashes between rebels and SPLA forces in Unity state, with 47 of the wounded still under medical care.

A group of lawmakers visited the hospital where they distributed small monetary donations and food stuffs to soldiers.

SPLM caucus team leader Veronica Philip Dak the visit was aimed at boosting morale among wounded personnel.

The SPLA has been hit by a number of cases of desertions, as well as defections to the armed opposition, since conflict erupted in the country six months ago amid escalating political tensions within the ruling SPLM.

The fighting has pitted government forces loyal to Kiir against rebels aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar.

On Thursday, the SPLA conceded that a section of disgruntled soldiers angered over unpaid salaries had left their positions Jonglei state’s Gadiang last week.

At the time, Army spokesperson Colonel Philip Aguer denied rebel claims that soldiers had deserted on multiple fronts, including Unity and Upper Nile states.

In March, scores were killed following a dispute over salary payments sparked military clashes at the main army barracks in the capital, Juba.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 15 June 2014 17:50, by Akook

    Polite wording from Sudantribune - keep sugar-coating it!

    In real sense, this is Gen Dau Aturjong’s effect. Dinkas are beginning to understand this war. That its a war against failed leadership, not one against Dinka as Kiir and Malong Awan had been trying to purport this. How long SPLA soldiers go months without payment and there is nothing like them deserting fronts? Some even go six!

    repondre message

Comment on this article


The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

President Festus G. Mogae rekindles peace hopeful dividends for South Sudan 2015-11-28 07:33:06 By James Okuk Friday 27th November 2015 had marked a very important step forward on the path of peace in the Republic of South Sudan despite lagging behind the schedules in the last wasted three (...)

The Sudanese rebels’ national agenda is causing local harm 2015-11-26 07:46:17 By Hafiz Ismail Mohamed Sudan people's Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N)'s insistence on negotiating with the government about national issues only – rather than giving priority to South (...)

Tribal politics is what destroying our social fabric 2015-11-25 06:08:13 By Malek Cook-Dwach, “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.”? Albert Einstein In the paradox of (...)


Latest Press Releases

Deadly Public Order raid in Umm Dawm 2015-11-11 13:26:10 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA)Deadly Public Order Raid in Umm Dawm On the 14th of October, the Public Order Police (POP) carried out a sweep in Umm Dawm, an area (...)

S. Sudan civil society groups to the 28 states issue to constitutional body 2015-10-08 17:26:10 South Sudan Civil Society Organizations Submission on the Creation of 28 States in the Republic of South Sudan Press Statement For immediate Release 8th October 2015 Following the announcement (...)

Sudan Democracy First Group Statement on The International Day for Democracy 2015-10-01 22:18:58 22 September 2015 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) commemorated on 15 September 2015 the International Day for Democracy, which the United Nations (UN) marks as a day to encourage governments (...)


Copyright © 2003-2015 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.