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South Sudanese rebel leader relieves senior army commanders

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July 21, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan’s former vice president, Riek Machar and current leader of the armed opposition faction of the ruling Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), has issued orders relieving senior military commanders amid rumours of a rift within the rebel group.

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Rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka gestures as he speaks to South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei February 1, 2014. (Photo Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

In the orders on Tuesday, 21 July, Machar relieved Major General James Koang Chuol Ranley from his position as commander of Special Division (I) and reappointed him to more senior position as chief of general staff for operations, replacing Major General Peter Gatdet Yaka, who was also earlier relieved from the position in a separate order on the same day.

The commander-in-chief of the armed opposition also relieved Major General Gathoth Gatkuoth Hothnyang from his position as deputy chief of general staff for logistics.

Major General Johnson Olony, former commander of Aguelek forces who joined with the opposition faction early this month, has been appointed as commander of Special Division (I) in the oil-rich Upper Nile state, replacing Major General James Koang Chuol Ranley.

The copy of the order extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday also said there shall be no any appointment to the position of deputy chief of staff for logistics.

“The logistics shall be handled from the office of the Commander-in-Chief,” it said.

No new assignments have been issued for Major General Peter Gatdet and Major General Gathoth Gatkuoth. And no explanation has been given in regard to the first major changes in the military leadership.

It was not clear what provoked the unexpected decisions. The rebel officials were not reachable for comment, though several government sources claimed in a series of interviews with Sudan Tribune Tuesday that the decision could be linked with indirect negotiations the affected commanders had initiated with the government over the past weeks.

Gordon Buay, one of the South Sudanese diplomats to the United States of America told Sudan Tribune that the development was expected because rebel commanders were dissatisfied with their leadership and it plans to return to the government without providing them with a clarification on the ongoing discussions over a draft peace agreement expected to be finalized soon.

Also, South Sudanese deputy head of mission to Kenya, James Morgan attributed the removal of General Peter Gadet to rumours that the later was "planning to switch allegiance from Machar".

“So when Riek realized it was too late, he retaliated by issuing an order, dismissing him and his partner in crimes, Gatkouth," he announced on without elaborating on the circumstances leading to the development.

General Gadet is under international sanctions, as he is accused of targeted civilians on the basis of ethnicity..

(ST)

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  • 21 July 2015 22:31, by Lotodo Awino Odug

    is this not dictatorship? these Generals were relieved for venting their frustrations for lack of arms supplies. they were also vocal about faded waning morale of fighters within the movement’s war zones. My message to is, unite to bring peace to the people or Juba will slaughter all of you if you show signs of hopelessness.

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    • 21 July 2015 22:52, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      we know fully well that the rebellion is crumbling to factions or non military mode, one thing these generals like Gatdet, CDR and Garthoth should know is that, SPLA knows who were the catalsy of the carnage. since there is no Khartoum to run to, SPLA will not let you just enter Juba like a cattle camp again. somebody got to pay up.

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      • 22 July 2015 00:26, by Akook

        These are generals are against peace agreement! They are suspicious with whatever protocol Riek signed with the government as their main objective fighting this war is just limited to Revenge. Kudos Deng Alor and G10 members! Your influence in Riek’s camp, in pushing him towards peace is bearing fruits...

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        • 22 July 2015 00:34, by Akook

          It’s time for peace. Riek shown example now by slaughtering his most extremely venomous group of Gen Gadet, Gathoth Gatkuoth and Koang Chuol Ranley for peace to return to South Sudan.

          It’s time for Kiir’s government to reciprocate by killing its most war extreme war mongering group of Malong Awan, Kuol Manyang, Marial Benjamin and Makuei Lie. To pave way for peace!

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          • 22 July 2015 05:55, by Lotodo Awino Odug

            The SPLA generals you have mentioned don’t like war to continue, what they hate the most are these pompous militias who keeps threatening the seating government by using force when their demands are not met. this war is their only opportunity to use force to come to power. if they fails, then they should decease from using war rhetoric ever again.

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    • 22 July 2015 06:19, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      The development in rebels camp should lead the rests of commanders to put RIEK MACHAR, in trouble.
      PETER GATDET YAK and GADTHOTH GATKUOTH, have still a rooms in the government to accommodate them though have made genocide in the Upper Nile, Unity State and Bor, Dr. Riek, camp have always no good accommodation.

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    • 22 July 2015 08:48, by Mayom County Boy

      relieving major General Peter Gatdet Yak Majiek Gok ,it is like you touch a snake that call viper with your hand .
      let Riek Machar relieve them the way he want it , he will reinstate them back to their position the way he want to solve it .
      but my worry is because Riek Machar will remain with is empty hands , after that he will go to exile .

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    • 22 July 2015 08:55, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      Some generals within SPLM/IO and SPLM/Juba they look very old it’s better for them to abandon war and come home to give good advise to the youths than commanding senseless war.

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    • 22 July 2015 09:38, by Ayuen deng

      There is no hope in whatever rebels is fighting for because thousand have die in vain and hundred of thousand are suffering in POCs and refugee camps, i think its better for all Rebels commanders and all Nuer Elders to call for peace Riek is slaughter Nuer youth in his senseless war and the Government of Salve Kiir is ready with both open hands of peace.

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  • 22 July 2015 00:31, by Gunkills

    If Peter Gatdet and his group decided to come to Juba as likely as said,the men are highly welcome back home.

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    • 22 July 2015 05:05, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      Their plan is not to come to Juba, their real intents are to betray Riek and their fellow militias. knowing that they are the masterminds of this war. they want a simple short cut to a void prosecution in case if their rebellion crumble to pieces.

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      • 22 July 2015 05:38, by Marco A. Wek

        Real South Sudanese with sense of nationalism will always have peace as their main goal but most of here want our people to continue in the path of distruction. What will you gain if we finish ourselves? Come to your senses.

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        • 22 July 2015 06:05, by Lotodo Awino Odug

          ask your son to go home if you want real peace to prevail, your people have flooded Juba in droves and are not peaceful to others as you may think. stop blaming those who only come here to defend your government for free service.

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          • 22 July 2015 06:33, by Kumbo

            Some useless stupid fools like talking nonsense like Gordon Buay and those who are commenting without knowing the root of the cause or they know and pretend first of all Gatdet son was murdered in cool blood by useless Juba Govt last week do you think Gatdet can join govt easily? U with your little brain like chicken brain food lovers

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            • 22 July 2015 15:13, by Alfredo christiani

              Kumba
              You are a stupid person who was born in refugees camp and have no knowledge about SPLA/M ,Peter Gadet deserve to be kill, leave a side his boys , because he killed thousands of innocent lives , even we are looking for him and people like you to be deal with, before signing of peace agreement with rebels . We don’t want peace to be sign with peoples like you, still alive. That’s why 2 senio

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              • 22 July 2015 15:36, by Alfredo christiani

                2 senior officers were sacked by Riak Machar before peace agreement is reach

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        • 22 July 2015 08:42, by Koang

          The ‘war’ can not brings peace at the Right-Time. So lets end the war the at right way and time.

          What matters most is how one Brings_Things _to an END- but not how well one starts Things. Ending is more important than Starting things.

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    • 22 July 2015 06:27, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      The only way death will be avoided in South Sudan military will be absolve the responsibility of a sovereign nation. which is to say, give the South back to Arab North.none starter right! let be honest,it is either we accept death or give up nationhood.

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  • 22 July 2015 12:38, by American Missile.

    Peace will never be with them if they can not think of their PEOPLE who are sufferings from diseases,looming hunger and many others. let them quarrels.

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  • 22 July 2015 16:31, by Redeemer

    Take a Nuer man out in the position, you should expect rebellion. Gatdet wanted to become a rebel of rebels as his boss Riek use to do. Lol !!!

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  • 22 July 2015 21:24, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

    Three Criminal General tribal murders are those two relief now. Remaining Koang Chuol Ranley criminal of western Upper Nile. Gatdet Yak is a criminal south Upper Nile. Gathoth Criminal of North,he give Ngok 3 pionts. 1 Ngok Assimilation into Nuer. 2 If not leave the Upper Nile. 3 Exterminate them all if they are not cooperating.

    There is no room for them anymore in south sudan.

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