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South Sudan senior SPLA-IO commanders defect to SPLA in Unity region


August 21, 2016 (BENTIU) – A number of senior military commanders, mainly from Guit, the home county of the newly appointed First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai, in Unity region, have defected to the South Sudanese army (SPLA) under the leadership of President Salva Kiir.

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First Vice President, Riek Machar, accompanied by SPLA-IO officers, Juba, 27 May, 2016 (ST Photo)

Lt. Gen. Dor Manjuor, Gen. Liah Diu and Gen. Makal Kuol have confirmed to Sudan Tribune in separate satellite phone interviews that they are no longer supporting former first vice president Riek Machar, adding they are part of the group allied to new South Sudan first vice president Taban Deng Gai.

Although the three Generals were reported last month to have defected to Gai with their bodyguards, Gen. Liah denied that he defected to Gand told Sudan Tribune he did not support the new South Sudan first vice president.

But on Sunday Gen. Liah indeed told Sudan Tribune he is not any longer loyal to Machar, a move which contradicted his earlier last month’s statement. Observers said he refused to declare his open support to Gai because he feared for his life in the location where he was as he was only with his bodyguards and could be attacked by Machar’s loyalist forces in Guit area.

However, Gen. Manjuor, another army officer hailing from Gai’s home town, declared his allegiance to Gai, and claimed he joined Gai group in support of President Kiir to defend the country.

“What I want to tell you the whole of Guit county is for peace. We support the peace under President Salva Kiir and his deputy Taban Deng Gai,” he said.

The declaration came as the SPLA Chief of General Staff, Paul Malong Awan flew to Guit county with some senior officers including SPLA spokesperson, Brigadier Gen. Lul Ruai Koang.

The group claimed they have defected from the SPLA-IO to President Kiir’s SPLA with 11,000 troops currently allegedly stationed in Guit area, waiting for full integrations into the SPLA under the command of President Kiir.

However, Major Weirial Puok Baluang, press secretary for the opposition’s appointed governor of Unity state, has dismissed as “propaganda” the alleged number of troops that defected to President Kiir for integration.

He said the three Generals only defected with the total of 80 soldiers, describing the claim as “white lies” from desperate people in need of cash money from the regime of Juba.


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  • 22 August 2016 07:23, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Just see how these people are!! Are they real human beings. Why did you go to the bush in the first place? Just to kill and rob. Mark you you are going into lion’s den. One by one will perish. Taban is being used like honey from the comb. Leave those with objectives go on with the torch of liberation of the country and people from totalitarianism. Yesterday was a turn of Mayom and today is Guit.

    repondre message

    • 22 August 2016 08:33, by South South

      jur_likang_a_ likan’g,

      " Why did you go to the bush in the first place? Just to kill and rob"
      Is that what forces under Riek doing? Very interesting. Let us bring peace to our country. All 63 tribes have to live in peace. It is our country and all of us should work hard to keep it peaceful.

      repondre message

      • 22 August 2016 15:04, by jubaone


        The more I try to understand some Nuer, the more I get confused. After the Nuer massacre of 2013 in Juba, no sensible Nuer would simply walkover to the Kiir jienge regime and shout loud like Lul Koang. Now the jienges are rubbing their hands and saying, let these...wieu nyagats come back and we´ll screw them. Sad! Unprincipled

        repondre message

        • 22 August 2016 15:35, by Hardlinner

          Jubaone, riek claim of 20,000 nuer massacred in juba was never reallistic from first place. Let be realistic only 500 male nuer where indeed killed. Riek made the numbers in order to rally nuer youth. Now that nuer generals hv discovered Riek lies, it is going to be hard for riek to motive nuer youth. Taban should maintain his position. Riek is agent of america n shld not be trusted anymore.

          repondre message

    • 22 August 2016 09:48, by chuol

      Desperate Makal Kuol 6 soldiers
      Illiterate Dor Manjur 25 soldiers
      Gen Liah Diu 27 Gojam
      Idiot Gatnyoai Chidong 0 soldier

      Struggle continue

      repondre message

    • 22 August 2016 19:54, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      Many thanks to FVP Taban Deng Gai for having chosen a peaceful resolution of conflict in South Sudan. God has answered our prayers for peace among S. Sudanese communities.

      repondre message

  • 22 August 2016 09:59, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    The government of the republic of South Sudan under leadership of Salva Kiir Mayardit, highly welcome all the SPLA, personals from io group to join a nation building.
    Riek Machar Teny, is doing nothing to the people of South Sudan through rebellion.

    repondre message

  • 22 August 2016 10:01, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Come all, come together to be one brother and sister in one nation.

    repondre message

  • 22 August 2016 10:52, by Alfredo christiani

    Dear Folks

    Welcome ya Illiterates generals who only speak mother tongues, I think there will be nothing you will do better to the people of South Sudan just to come and loot their Development funds and confuse the situation . fools always going in and coming out, just like prostitutes. hahahahaha

    repondre message

  • 22 August 2016 11:39, by Dengda

    Nuer either blessed or cursed. When the issue od concern rise they burn like savannah bush and get off quickly. When the situation which need consistence come they disappear like dew. What is the different b/n IO, Riek and Taban? There isn’t Kiir government but TGoNU. This time around it going to be Nuer Vs Nuer. Don’t misuse the term reform for yr greedy or ego.

    repondre message

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