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Rebels around Juba rejoin South Sudanese army

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Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers singing pro-war song (AFP file photo)

August 22, 2018 (JUBA) - A group of rebels purportedly from the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) of the former army chief of staff General Paul Malong rejoined the SPLA on Wednesday, according to the SPLA and defectors commanders.

The group led by Chan Garang Lual carried out several attacks on the army positions in Juba and outside the capital between June 2017 and last January 2018. The attacks initially were attributed to the SPLM-IO which swiftly denied the responsibility. After what it was announced that the rebels are part of Malong’s SSUF/A but the latter too denies the claim.

However, it has been admitted that the group caused a headache to the security apparatus with its capacity to pose direct threats to the capital and its suburbs.

The peace deal with the defectors was negotiated by the South Sudan National Security Service which was in secret negotiations with the rebels.

Speaking at a press conference held in Juba to announce the peace agreement, SPLA spokesperson Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang admitted that the defectors "gave us hard time,". "With (their) return, I strongly believe insecurity around Juba is going to be a thing of the past,” he added.

For his part, Lual who is from Aweil area said they rejoined the national army in line with the presidential pardon.

"The President of the Republic announced an amnesty offer. We heard it and we accepted. That is why we have decided to return. This is our home. So I have come and I believe many will follow me," he said.

Ajang Lino another former rebel commander who described himself as the commander-in-chief of the faction’s army said they joined the government because they had a disagreement with the former SPLA chief of staff without further details.

The defectors claim their group is composed of 300 fighters.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed but generally, in such situation, the rebels are reintegrated and their leaders also promoted and receive some financial compensations.

Gen. Malong said he wants to participate in the IGAD sponsored revitalization process but the mediation declined his demand. The rejection of his participation prevents him and his group from taking part in the implementation process and the power-sharing.

(ST)

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  • 23 August 12:07, by Kwacha Okonyomoi

    "Generally, in such situation, the rebels are reintegrated and their leaders also promoted and receive some financial compensations".
    This should not be entertained because this is the reasons why these idiots are defecting and returning back at will expecting to get these unwarranted favors. We will end up having an army of fools.

    repondre message

    • 23 August 12:46, by Mike Mike

      That means almost half of South Sudanese people are in the bush fighting their own government for unknown reason. Is it not a big shameless thing now for one to rebel and killed people and later returns to the Country without achieving the main goal he/ she rebel for.

      repondre message

      • 23 August 15:44, by Marco A. Wek

        Mike Mike, shameless means no shame? Which one did you mean to say? Shame or no shame?

        repondre message

      • 23 August 21:07, by jubaone

        Mike Mike
        About 6-7 months ago, I predicted that this Jienge rebellion in Equatoria was a dead ox. With Malong exiled, his fellow SSUF couldn’t hold it anymore. No logistics through Equatoria and Uppernile, no more defectors to boost their ranks, they simply depended on robberies. Other jienges didn’t want to starve in Equatoria bushes. Only option is return for food. They had no cause.

        repondre message

  • 23 August 12:50, by Kenyang ll

    Garang Chan like many in SPLA is a brave soldier. He responded to peace and brought back almost exact number he took. We can argue day in and night out but South Sudan ideal problem is failed leadership and corrupt SPLM, not our gallant SPLA soldiers and their movement.

    repondre message

    • 24 August 08:03, by Joseph Canada

      Hahahahaha. Man be honest !!The good soldier is the one who is loyal to his nation and stand on that principle. The guy and his team came back because they have no food. They were also rebeling simply because they were told to by a fellow Dinka they who thought he was going to cause problem so that IO could be blamed for violating peace. They soldier should’ve obeyed the Oath!!

      repondre message

  • 24 August 10:37, by Charles Majok

    Salva Kiir and Paul Malong have reconciled and reached a secret deal to assassinate Dr Riek Machar and General Thomas Cirillo as soon as they return to Juba. The rebels returning to Juba will be part of a large force that is expected to overwhelm the Regional Protection Force and kill the two men and their associates. The assassination will be facilitated by the UPDF of Uganda.

    repondre message

    • 24 August 19:21, by jubaone

      Charles Majok
      Take it easy. Riak is coming with 12,000 strong army and Gen is also mobilizing close to 10,000. Once these congregate in Juba, Kiirminal and Malong with some jienges can start anything they want. It will be the final war. Either they kill both men or jienges risk everything. After all, entire jienge elites are in Juba. It will be easy to cordon them and baam👊.

      repondre message

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