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Missing Northern Bahr el Ghazal chief suspected of defecting

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July 14, 2014 (JUBA) – Authorities in South Sudan’s border state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal claim that they do not know the whereabouts of a prominent traditional leader in Aweil North county suspected of defecting to the rebel faction.

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Map detail showing South Sudan’s border state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal

Chief Chief Deng Geng was removed from his position earlier this year for reasons that remain unclear.

Neither the county commissioner nor state minister of local government have made a public statement on the matter.

Several state government officials, including some MPs, claimed Geng had deserted the area and was currently at an undisclosed location.

This has led to speculation that Geng, who disappeared about a week ago, has defected from the government to join the rebel movement led by former vice-president Riek Machar.

The rumours have sparked confusion and unease among the local community in the area.

Pro-Machar rebels have been engaged in an armed struggle with the Salva Kiir-led government since mid-December last year after a political split emerged in the ruling SPLM, sparking violence across the country.

Geng fought during the civil war with Sudan prior to independence as a soldier with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) before being appointed as a section chief in Aweil North county.

“It is going to one week now and nobody knows where he had gone. I am told he had gone with a sizeable number of the youth in the area,” one legislator told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

“I know Geng myself. He is someone who has a large following in the area and if the allegations that he may have defected to the rebel side becomes the truth, then it is certainly going to cause [a] security concern and the area will never be peaceful. I just hope nothing like that happened,” he said on condition of anonymity.

SECURITY THREAT

The legislator also expressed fears that the forest straddling the uncontrolled border area with Sudan from which the new nation seceded in 2011 could be used as a base for launching military attacks on neighbouring areas.

“It is going to be a very, very big threat not just for our people in the state but also neighbouring states like Warrap,” the lawmaker said.

“They (rebels) might want to extend their operation beyond, unless their intention is to localise their grievances since he was just a chief,” he said.

As the home region of president Kiir, Bahr el Ghazal is widely regarded as a government stronghold.

(ST)

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  • 15 July 2014 07:19, by laatmachol apac

    Nation disturb by rebellion,what give chief power to fight government if the army have patriotic style of defending the nation.

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    • 15 July 2014 08:32, by Nyesi Ta

      Quote, "Geng fought during the civil war with Sudan prior to independence as a soldier with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) before being appointed as a section chief in Aweil North county", unquote. Another question is what make a soldier to be made chief? The answer is simple, because both the soldiers, teachers, chiefs, etc are drawn from the population to occupy these postions.

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      • 15 July 2014 08:42, by Nyesi Ta

        Nobody is born a chief, a teacher, or soldier, but one is made to become a chief and etc. No matter what you are, when faced with injustce, you are bound to confront it head on. therefore, a chief is not an exception. Now that chiefs are defecting, the war will soon be everywhere and all over South Sudan. Just mark my words.

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  • 15 July 2014 09:09, by BM Bol

    Sudantribune needs to correct the title of this report. The guy is a former chief. As for his whereabouts, he is already in custody of state authorities. His removal as a chief is a result of inability to perform the basic duties of a chief because he turned into drunkard after he was appointed.

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  • 15 July 2014 10:01, by Akot Deng

    Ngundeng and chiefs will never make concrete revolutionary, i wonder why PHD holder is using primivity of aquiring power.

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  • 15 July 2014 10:11, by Akot Deng

    Chief Deng Geng Mabouch defection will not affect our state affairs he rebelled with one disgrantle Mp Abdalla Kuot, they are presuing their own intersest,it is a matter of time we shall bring them under our controll, our state is peaceful and will remain peaceful forever.we know he is one of the uncle of dau Aturjoong.

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    • 15 July 2014 11:09, by Malakal county Simon

      As long as Kiir insist to cling to power and forgetting how he he got into power, more citizens are willing to sacrifice their lives until they see Kiir ousted!! Kiir is the problem for South Sudan unity and for the lasting peace....

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      • 15 July 2014 13:19, by Malakal county Simon
      • 15 July 2014 15:33, by Makuen Ci Nhomwan

        @ Malakal Gal
        you are a thoughtless Nuer who preach 4 war to continue but war is not the solution to the conflict let,s opt 4 peace and dialogue. 4 NBGS Chief who defected is nothing. chief is chief he went to Kiiradem 4 fishing it is just a matter of him being disapeared.chiefs can not take arms to overthrow the regime no way.

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  • 15 July 2014 15:18, by Padiet Deng Alony

    Now the problem of South Sudanese politician or who ever is clear that if you are removed from the position you turn rebel and the prove is that all who rebel now became a rebel becuase they are removed.

    If so then let them expect that Presiden Kirr will not accept to be removed from his position of Presidency and vise-visa.

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  • 16 July 2014 02:56, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

    According to Ngundeng prophecy, uncle Kiir will make a lot of mistake that will upset Deng Garang/Abuk. Deng decided will take him away by storm of loud noise. He will never up wake up again. (if it is a hind violence storm not sure). Baa Kiir maar aha bee yiic cee ro bi jieec ni piny. The leader will go to understandable people that will united all tribe.

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