Home | News    Thursday 10 March 2016

SPLM-IO official claims gov’t soldiers defected to rebels

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

March 9, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – A group of South Sudanese government troops have defected and joined the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by Riek Machar, an rebel official told Sudan Tribune Wednesday.

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SPLA soldiers in Malakal, capital of the battleground oil-state of Upper Nile on 15 May 2014 (Photo AFP/Ivan Lieman)

The armed opposition’s secretary for information, documentation and orientation in Sobat state, Kech Nguoth Tiem claimed several government forces deserted their barracks and joined the rebel movement’s base in Nyatot on 8 March.

The opposition official did not, however, mention total numbers of those who allegedly defected to the rebels in Sobat, but insisted that the defectors were "very many".

“After the group arrived, they were received by the SPLM-IO emergency joint patrolling team stationed in Ketbeek. The government then followed and demanded to take back those who surrendered, but the move was rejected by the forces of SPLA-IO,” said Tiem.

According to the opposition official, government forces opened fire on the SPLA-IO forces in Ketbek station after the opposition group’s patrolling team who received the defectors refused to hand over those who defected.

“Fighting erupted and the government force were chased and repulsed back to their base in Wechyaradiw,” he said.

He further alleged that government forces launched offensive shelling and bombarded SPLM-IO positions on Wednesday in Pandanyang, NorDeng, Dhoreding and this was followed by subsequent attacks at rebel bases in Ketbeek.

“The government forces in Wechyaradiw have been defecting to SPLM-IO one by one three months ago and continue until yesterday”, said Tiem.

They defectors allegedly claimed they abandoned their base in protest against harsh conditions, lack of food and other necessary supplies within their Wechyaradiw base.

The army has, however, not officially reacted to claims allegedly made by the defectors.

The two South Sudanese rival factions on Tuesday traded fresh accusations of military confrontations in Upper Nile’s Nasir county in violation of last year’s peace deal.

(ST)

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  • 10 March 2016 07:02, by Redeemer

    Rebels
    The truth is there is a massive mobilization going on in Nuer areas again, Riek is mobilizing civilians to increase his army size before coming to Juba, many of my friends are being asked to join, some did and some refused, Nuer students are leaving schools as we speak to go and get ranks

    repondre message

    • 10 March 2016 07:28, by Redeemer

      There was a forced recruitment in Ketbeek villages last week why calling them defectors. As one of the generals said last week, there is a clear intention of Dr. Riek to destroy Nuer population, that statement has been confirmed by the ongoing action.

      repondre message

  • 10 March 2016 07:05, by Jurdit Mayen

    Big lie! What do you have that will attract SPLA soldiers to defect to you?

    repondre message

    • 10 March 2016 08:35, by Malakal county Simon

      They been confined in Weyarradiew for more than two years with no proper food, no reinforcements, no promotion and most of all, no salaries......

      Can any sounded mined person find a reason,to blame them for their defection??????

      repondre message

  • 10 March 2016 08:20, by choldit

    It is unfortunatel that some pple live in the best of their ability to deny even facts. The situation in Nasir is yet another manifestation of what going on in ss these days. Malong abundant his troops in Bar El Gazal then they abundant their post in northern border. Therefore, they are now looting towns and killing pple in Wau. Why a fool can think Malong can care for those in Nasir? Spla in ...

    repondre message

    • 10 March 2016 08:29, by choldit

      ... are now preparing themselves to join SPLA-IO and declare Nasir an SPLM-IO CONTROL are. The only hope Spla-ig shld have is that we are not going to fight with Spla-io again. And the Spla-DINKA will not have problem deploying and promoting their Nuer and Equatorian followers. Because this is our initial need in this govt. Yes, Spla-io have nothing like money Spla-in govt have but they have moral

      repondre message

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