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SPLM-IO rebels minimise defection of army general


June 23, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan armed opposition allied to the former First Vice-President Riek Machar has minimised reports claiming the defection of Brigadier Gen. David Okot to Juba faction.

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A batch of the SPLA-IO forces after arrival in Juba, 1 April, 2016 (ST Photo)

Reached by Sudan Tribune Col. Lam Paul, a deputy rebel spokesperson on Friday said the defected general had actually some issue with his command and preferred to join the SPLM-IO faction led First Vice President Taban Deng Gai instead of appearing before his military superiors after his summon.

Okot was the commander of Magwi Brigade, but lost command of his forces due to indiscipline cases, said the rebel spokesperson.

“He was called to report to division HQ, but he refused and went camping in Uganda. Otim David his clansman convinced him to go to Juba for his security in the (refugee) camp”, he told Sudan Tribune.

The rebel spokesperson further denied any knowledge about soldiers linked with the dismissed official.

However, he admitted he left with two other officers to the refugee camp in Uganda and later was joined by his family members to escort him to Kampala.

“What we know he didn’t have forces around him when he left. All his forces had moved to the Anyanya division. He went with two soldiers and the others are his relatives from Agoro clan”, Lam added.

On Tuesday Mr Okot and four other officials declared their allegiance to Gai SPLM-IO Juba faction at South Sudan Embassy, in Kampala.

SPLM-IO under the current First Vice President Taban Deng Gai claimed Okot reported himself with 2000 soldiers.

Footage of their declaration was broadcasted by the Uganda Media, National Television or NTV on Wednesday.

General Okot is one of the well-known Generals within Machar faction’s Army.

Okot was a commander in charge of Magwi Brigade 9th in Anyanya division in Eastern Equatoria.

Since South Sudan has fallen back into a bloody civil war in December 2013, some 1.8 million civilians fled to neighbouring countries.


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  • 24 June 2017 06:52, by Tilo

    SS Politician can never allow peace to come in the country. They allow corrupt leaders to join their party. Parties in SS doesn’t have constituency or rule of law, a genuine part could not allow any person with allegation of mismanagement to join their party. If this defection doesn’t stop this country may have no future anytime soon.
    Leaders of SS are responsible for all these atrocities

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  • 24 June 2017 09:07, by Newsudan

    defection to and from is nowadays a business in south Sudan to get ranks,positions, money,fame etc

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    • 24 June 2017 10:16, by Eastern


      The underlying cause for defection from the various opposition shades to join Kiir in Juba is MONEY. From 2005 up till now, some hapless South Sudanese have gotten used to leaving beyond their means. It will be only the most resilient folks like me, among a few, who will continue to mount pressure on Kiir and cohorts..

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    • 28 June 2017 15:06, by Midit Mitot

      Personal interest will finish this country.

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  • 24 June 2017 09:20, by anyanya1

    Leaders of ss have to adopt new system in order to deal with this type of defections, for peace to come to the country let stop and refuse this baseless defections,look Hw they kill ss people.

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  • 24 June 2017 09:36, by Achuil friedman

    Reunification of all factions under open leadership of kiir has caused me double fiction with law makers.
    Splm as party create unprofessional system with unforgettable life we have past in, ???? ????? has more than ethnic tribe of which all of the are the gvt but they are lacking laws guarding life.

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    • 24 June 2017 11:35, by Redeemer

      To my SSudanese citizens whether with rebels or government Reality btn Okot & Riek from reliable source

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      • 24 June 2017 11:36, by Redeemer

        The recent killing on Juba-Nimule road cost Dr. Riek the effort which was underground to bring President Kiir into agreement to install Riek back as FVP and bring IO under one leadership and continue with the implementation of 2015 peace agreement. The international Community abandoned the idea and believed on the words of Taban Deng as a result

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        • 24 June 2017 11:37, by Redeemer

          On learning this, Riek wanted to sacrifice Okot saying he operated without his mandate and wanted to arrest him to win back the international community. Okot escaped and said he was responding to ND to win himself a position in the dying government of President Kiir.

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          • 24 June 2017 12:26, by Redeemer

            Riek=Kiir, the only way is to cooperate under the ground as citizens and Pressure Kirr to hold elections in 2018 where we can make him go and rest in his village Akon and Riek to his leer and leave us alone

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            • 24 June 2017 12:59, by Eastern


              You are very naive indeed! What assurances do you have that an election in 2018 won’t have Kiir on the ballot? The moment Kiir appears on the ballot on any election in South Sudan, he’ll be the winner - the power of incumbency in Africa!

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            • 24 June 2017 13:14, by Eastern


              As I write now, the issue of South Sudan has gone beyond senior Ph.D holders (Machar, Lam, Adwok, etc) to recent Ph.D holders and other intellectuals from across South Sudan who are able to OUT REASON the WORLD. The war is not about to end just because a shadowy "Brigadier" has joined ranks with Kiir and El Tabani...

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              • 24 June 2017 16:02, by Redeemer

                I was giving you an information which you don’t know what is happening in your camp. Okot was running for his dear life. He was about to die like Martin Kenyi whose was shot dead because of being accused to have reached a deal with Kiir

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                • 24 June 2017 17:08, by Eastern


                  IMAO, in my camp, now which camp do I belong to? Okot is not my class....

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                • 24 June 2017 21:19, by jubaone

                  Brig Okot wasn’t sure why he joined Riak in the first place so also people like Taban. It’s about principles; fundamental reforms that would push the country to higher levels and not held hostage by primitive jienge savages who have turned the country into a big joke. SS is literally done. What is left is acknowledging the breakup into separate independent states.

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