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BREAKING: Top SPLA-IO commander defects to join Kiir



General James Koang Chuol and three other senior SPLM-IO generals have defected to SPLM under Kiir

The defected generals say SPLM-IO has “lost direction and turned into family affairs or business entreprise”.

Other generals who have defected with James Koang are; Major General Gatkhor Gatluak Koryom, Maj. Gen. Wang Chany Thian and Maj. Gen. Joseph Yata.

They said their defection was triggered by a lot of reasons including “the way the movement is being run and managed.”

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Koang, who was the SPLA-IO deputy chief of staff for administration, claimed that the appointment of Angelina Teny as defense minister was taken without consultation between the military command of the opposition group.

Differences between Koang and Machar seemed to have began in January when he was replaced from the join defense board by Machar along with the group’s director of national security General Yiey Daak.

The powerful opposition commander who was also the military governor of unity state for the group following the onset of the civil war in December 2014 also defected along three other senior opposition commanders.

They includes Gen. Gatkhor Gatluak Koryom, former co-chair of Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC), Gen. Wang Chany Thian, former SPLA-IO’s Deputy Director General for National Security Service (NSS), former member of (JDB) Technical team and Maj Gen. Joseph Yata Erasto, former Commander of Division 2 B, and former member of (JDB).

Their defection came days after the formation of the revitalized transitional government of national unity in which Angelina Teny who is also the SPLM-IO chairperson for security and defense was nominated by Machar to take up the role of defense minister.

They said with Teny’s appointment to the iconic ministry, “the SPLA/M (IO) has lost direction, vision and command of the forces that it is turned into a family Affairs or business enterprise.

“The recent appointment of Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs without consultation with Military Command Council in the movement is case in point.

“Therefore, in the interest of full implementation of the Sept 2018 Peace Agreement and in the spirit of ensuring stability and peace to our beloved country of South Sudan, we have decided to join hands, declare our support and allegiance to the president of the Republic of South Sudan General Salva Kiir Mayardit.

“We shall be committed and work as part of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) to effectively ensure that our abandoned forces that are left behind in the bushes without food, shelter and medicines are promptly reorganized and reintegrated in the shortest possible time with their brothers and sisters in the SSPDF.

“We strongly urge our field commanders and their forces to remain calm and ensure that the permanent ceasefire holds in greater Upper Nile, Bhar el ghazal and Equatoria in their current positions.

“We also urge them to immediately report themselves to various Cantonment sites and training centers for smooth and timely implementation of the remaining critical tasks of the security arrangements.”

Source: Nyamilepedia




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