Home | News    Tuesday 18 February 2014

S. Sudan admits mass defection of army troops to Machar rebels


February 17, 2014 (JUBA/ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese government on Monday revealed officially for the first time a situation of mass defection of its troops to rebels led by the former vice- president, Riek Machar, calling for more involvement of foreign forces to “fill the gap.”

JPEG - 14.5 kb
Soldiers from South Sudan’s army patrol the streets of Malakal in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state on 31 December 2013 (AFP)

In parliamentary session organised to discuss the current violence with the rebels that started in mid-December, senior security leaders and lawmakers made the rare admission, which they claimed had become a threat to the administration unless outside help was sought.

The government’s chief whip, Tulio Odongi, who controls members of the ruling party in the parliament, told the national legislature on Monday that up to 70% of the army was becoming loyal to Riek Machar and defecting to the rebels’ side.

He appealed to the foreign “allied forces” not to withdraw from South Sudan until the current “weakness” was addressed.

Odongi further urged the president to urgently acquire air, land and river defense weapons in order to face the looming threat posed by the rebels.

The minister of interior, Aleu Ayieny, while addressing the parliament, also shared the grave concerns raised by the chief whip.

He said the greater Upper Nile region, which constitutes the largest presence and deployment of South Sudan army, has recently been hard by defections to the rebels.

Aleu further revealed that even the police force was defecting to the rebels, adding that his own ministry was “terribly affected” because many officers had defected to the rebels.

The parliament approved a supplementary budget of 749 million South Sudanese pounds (over $300m) to deal with the security threats.

Minister of defence, Kuol Manyang Juuk, had earlier on revealed that his government was financing the Uganda army in order to join the war against the rebels.

The renewed government’s call for more interventions by foreign forces came days after the United Nations and many other countries including US, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan warned of “regionalization of the conflict” and called for the withdrawal of the Ugandan army and other allied foreign forces from the new country.


Meanwhile South Sudanese rebels have confirmed defections from the government’s forces to their side and further warned of more imminent defections in the coming period.

“Majority in the army have now come to realize the root cause of the senseless violence. They have learnt that Salva Kiir instigated the violence,” Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Monday, warning of more defections from the government in the coming period.

He said the army now sees President Salva Kiir as “a war-mongering commander-in-chief who could do anything to kill his own people indiscriminately, fitting ethnic groups against each other and bringing foreign forces to help him kill more people and destroy properties just in order to remain in power.”

Dak further criticised the revelation that Juba was paying Kampala for the military activities of Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) in South Sudan.

“You can now see how his dictatorial administration uses the public money, not to provide the badly needed basic services for the benefit of the suffering people of South Sudan, but to buy Uganda army and other allied militias from Sudan to kill his own people,” he further alleged.


The spokesperson for the South Sudan army, Philip Aguer, on Monday told reporters that the rebels were amassing their troops and closing in to recapture the strategic town of Malakal, which serves as the capital of the oil-rich state of Upper Nile.

“Today, forces of Riek Macahr are in Anagdiar, 15km from Malakal and our forces on the ground are saying the attacks are imminent,” he said, but said government’s troops were ready to repulse the rebels.

He, however, told the civilians to flee from the town if they wished so in order to escape from the imminent violence in the oil-rich city.

South Sudanese minister for petroleum, Stephen Dhieu Dau, also told reporters earlier that the rebels were too threatening to capture the oilfields, hundreds of kilometers east of Malakal.

But Machar spokesperson denied government’s version of the rebels advance, saying troops loyal to president Kiir were the ones attacking rebel positions around Malakal and that anti-government forces were pushing back the army in self-defense.

Dak further claimed that the government’s forces were also attacking their positions in Jonglei and Unity states.

He accused the government of continuous violations of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed on 23 January in Addis Ababa and said the rebels will be forced to fight back should the government continue dishonouring the agreements.

The two-month violence started between presidential guards in the new nation’s capital, Juba, and spread to the other three states.

Rebels say president Kiir who hails from the largest tribe, Dinka, instigated the violence when he attempted to disarm soldiers from Machar’s Nuer ethnic group in the presidential guards division in order to silent the opposition within the ruling (SPLM) party.

Kiir however said the violence was an attempted coup by Machar and his group of politicians in the party.

Talks have resume for the second time in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to discuss the root causes of the conflict and resolve it.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 18 February 2014 10:20, by Malakal county Simon

    Remember to blame your primitive President for ill intention of instigating the chaos in order to get ride of his opponents, Dr Riek was using nonviolence means, having sense that only Dinkas are his only supporters left his last option is militarily.

    repondre message

    • 18 February 2014 11:01, by Sir King

      I have been telling you that let voice to INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY for Interim Administration in South Sudan, but if you keep supporting invalid president, KIIR MAYARDIT and the other side are supporting Nyigat, DR. RIEK MACHAR, then South Sudan would be nomore. Please come all and voice for INTERIM ADMINISTRATION!!!!!!!!

      repondre message

    • 18 February 2014 11:24, by Tong dut

      The president soon will take refugee to Uganda,and SPLA will fight ugandan force in south sudan.
      We dont wants Kiir to rule us any more.even Macher will never rule south sudan.we wants new leader, Not Dinka nor Nuer.

      repondre message

      • 18 February 2014 15:50, by Mi diit

        Sir King,
        The interim administration will be formed by Dr. Machar and nobody else. No opportunists who do not resist Kiir’s violent dictatorship in the war field will be allowed to pick the fruits falling from the tree shaken by Dr. Machar. No third bloc will EVER form an interim administration if they don’t join Machar’s armed resistance against the dictator. Forget about that useless dream!!!!!

        repondre message

    • 18 February 2014 21:00, by Tutbol

      Does the govt of read these kind of propaganda? The S Sudanese will demand that the Ugandans troops leave with the UNIMISS troops, the govt of S Sudanese must tell the US to remove its UNIMISS forces in S Sudan. Any foreign mercenaries under damn power are not needed in S Sudan. If the US insists of supplying those mercenaries, then the govt...

      repondre message

      • 18 February 2014 21:07, by Tutbol

        of the S Sudan should tell the US in the face that its mercernaries are no longer needed in S Sudan. Every deployement of any troops is decided by the robots that our so-called govt of S Sudan do not even know who made the decision of who should be deployed in S Sudan? Another deployement of foreign troops in S Sudan, and war would be between S Sudanese & the so-called..

        repondre message

        • 18 February 2014 21:19, by Tutbol

          UGANDAN’s troops must leave S Sudan soil with UNIMISS-US mercenaries. The US game in S Sudan is up. We are not a US 51st state, S Sudan is S Sudan in Africa. All those bullshits aids (bribes) the US can keep its damn aids. S Sudanese are free thinking peoples, this game of aids & blackmails should be shunned. A leverage of aids & blackmails was long since known to be juus game.

          repondre message

  • 18 February 2014 10:35, by Joseph Canada


    repondre message

    • 18 February 2014 11:02, by Hardlinner

      Kiir is right to hired uganda soldiers to fill the gap left by nuer defectors. Kiir should now know that he was wrong to have incorporated majority nuer in spla. It is matter of time be4 spla is restore to it former glorious days. Nuer should from now be given 15% in spla because they can never be entrusted to protect the nation. Next spla should comprise of 40% dinka, 45% others and 15% nuer.

      repondre message

  • 18 February 2014 10:41, by Kiir

    Akiir is paying ugandan troop in daily bases each soldier getting $300 multiply by 30 days $9000. While SPLA soldiers getting 650 SSP per month. The National army is not benefiting at all.

    repondre message

  • 18 February 2014 10:43, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    MP, Tulio, is lier how 70% is rebels control in army? Riek Machar rebellion is matching with propoganda statements and those rebels news should not be execute by the government to make campaign, rebels are liars sincerely.

    repondre message

    • 18 February 2014 14:56, by Gatluak

      Shame shame shame on you. We will defeat them.

      repondre message

  • 18 February 2014 11:27, by Pif Paf

    Kiir cannot afford this war because it will drag on for a long time and kiir cannot afford to pay the Ugandans for too long. 70% defection is too much for the GOSS to handle. Its very sad that UPDF are being paid to kill and rape S.Sudanese. The ugandans are now raping the nuer but after all this is over they will also rape the Dinka on their way out.

    repondre message

    • 18 February 2014 14:02, by Diversity

      That is a lie they are just confusing South Sudanese to buy more mercanaries to kill only one tribe

      repondre message

    • 18 February 2014 17:07, by Majongdit

      Pif Paf,
      It is true there have been defections but it is not 70%. It is Nuer tribe that have had its members defecting. In fact, most of them defected out of fear that they might be targeted by the Dinka. Nevertheless, the Nuer have already been exhausted. There last attempt is ongoing now in Malakal. Once it’s over, there will be no rebellion. As we talk, the national army reform is going on.

      repondre message

  • 18 February 2014 13:34, by Gabriel KK

    There is no suprise because 60% percent of national army were Nuers’ militias. It is upto Dinkas to decide, whether to give up the leadership and be slaughtered by greedy nuers or fight until the end.

    repondre message

  • 18 February 2014 15:43, by Mapuor

    Dear president, God is really with you. The coup was planned long ago, there were two groups:Rieks Nuers and Majak Agot/Oyai group.They recruited only their supporters to national security and all important positions in both the army,police,prisons etc.Riek used numbers of Nuers in SPLA.Majak/Oyai group employed variety of tactics including bribery with food and money. Now just make overhaul

    repondre message

    • 18 February 2014 15:46, by Mapuor

      restructuring of the army, National security and all organized forces.SPLA OYEEEEE.Had it not been for Amiathnoon and Mathiang Anyoor those thugs would have succeeded.Watch out some are still in Juba and elsewhere.Recruitment must be done by loyal officers that can be trusted.Any former associate of the disgruntled group must not be involved in the process ALLUTA CONTINUA

      repondre message

  • 18 February 2014 17:10, by Majongdit

    Many other things can happen, maybe, but there is only one thing I can assure you: No President Riek Machar Teny in South Sudan

    repondre message

  • 18 February 2014 17:12, by marie

    The solution to this madness happening in the country is federalism. We need to have a lean government in Juba while the real lion share of power and budget be given to the states. Centralized system is just a disaster. We have witnessed a grave intimidation of the citizens in Juba and other parts of South Sudan by those who claim to be the liberators and they tried to extend the intimidation.

    repondre message

  • 18 February 2014 17:12, by marie

    The solution to this madness happening in the country is federalism. We need to have a lean government in Juba while the real lion share of power and budget be given to the states. Centralized system is just a disaster. We have witnessed a grave intimidation of the citizens in Juba and other parts of South Sudan by those who claim to be the liberators and they tried to extend the intimidation.

    repondre message

  • 18 February 2014 17:16, by marie

    They tried to extend the intimidation to Nuer which resulted to the ongoing repercussions after silencing the other tribes. National army, foreign affairs and customs should be the only institution under the federal government, while the rest of the institutions should be under the states. The wind of change has started and we should accept the reality. All states should start massive recruitment.

    repondre message

  • 19 February 2014 06:49, by Snipper


    repondre message

  • 19 February 2014 08:39, by Black Africa

    President Salva Kiir, if you love your country and your people, for the sake of your people suffering , please resign. I am not Reik Machar supporter and I don’t desire him to be our next president . What pisses me out, the people of South Sudan have suffered a lot for centuries.

    repondre message

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

What Makes an Uprising? 2021-09-03 17:29:45 By: Dr Lam Akol* In an undated article, Hon. Atem Garang de Kuek discussed what was required for an uprising in South Sudan to succeed as did three uprisings in the recent history of Sudan (...)

Is IGAD partly responsible for current confusion in South Sudan? 2021-08-21 09:41:17 By Bol Khan In April 2016, Radio Tamazuj posted and answered questions about the fainting Security arrangements or demilitarization of the capital, Juba as stipulated in 2015's signed ARCSS and (...)

South Sudan People Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) is to create warlords 2021-08-19 11:06:28 By Steve Paterno In South Sudan, where just about everyone has access to guns (tons of them), and almost every ambitious politician is a potential warlord, any slight destabilization of the (...)


Latest Press Releases

Statemeny bu Hala al-Karib to UN Security Council on women conditions in Sudan 2021-09-15 11:59:16 Statement by Ms Hala Al-Karib to the UN Security Council 14 September 2021 Madam President, Excellencies, My name is Hala Al-Karib and I am the Regional Director of the Strategic Initiative (...)

Joint Communiqué on the visit of H.E. the Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan to Juba 2021-08-23 11:23:26 19 – 21 August 2021 His Excellency Dr Abdallah Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan and Chairperson of IGAD, accompanied by Ministers of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Trade, (...)

S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)


Copyright © 2003-2021 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.