July 4, 2015 (RUBKOTNA) – A group of intellectuals and youths from Rubkotna county in South Sudan’s Unity state have distanced themselves from James Gai Yoach, an army general who defected from the rebels.
Yoach claimed the Leek community in Unity state backed his defection.
But the group, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, described the general’s defection to pro-government forces as a minor move.
“The defection of Gai Yoach and his few followers have nothing to do with all the Leek people. It has to be treated as a decision taken desperately by the general driven by his self-interest,” reads the statement.
“We would like to inform the public that all people of Rubkotna county in the resistance movement are still standing very firm behind the SPLM/SPLA [in opposition] under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon,” added the statement issued Saturday.
The intellectual urged the youth, men and women from Rubkotna to refrain from supporting the general loyal to Juba. Some community members accused Yoach who hails from Rubkotna of undermining his people by advancing personal interests.
Yoach joined the armed opposition struggle from northern Upper Nile state last year. A former rebel, Yoach was among those who protested against the outcome of the 2010 general elections in the then Southern Sudan.
The general’s defections is said to have been coordinated by Tut Kew, an advisor to President Salva Kiir and Unity state governor, Joseph Monytuel.