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Sudan Tribune

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SPLM-IO confirms defection of senior generals to S. Sudan Salva Kiir’s army

Lt. Gen. James Koang, former SPLA-IO Deputy Chief of Staff for Adm (C) poses with  splinter generals after their defection to SSDPP on 17 March 2020 (Photo released by the group)
Lt. Gen. James Koang, former SPLA-IO Deputy Chief of Staff for Adm (C) poses with splinter generals after their defection to SSDPP on 17 March 2020 (Photo released by the group)
March 18, 2020 (JUBA) – The SPLM-IO has confirmed the defection of several senior generals to the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) pointing that ignore the reason of the spilt.

“The SPLA (IO), Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration, Lt. General James Koang Chuol Ranley and the Deputy Director of National Security Services (NSS) Maj. Gen. James Wang Chany, with their negotiating team has left and deserted the movement and officially joined the government (…),” said the SPLA-IO military spokesman in a statement released on Tuesday evening.

The statement added that the “SPLA-IO leadership is unaware (…) of what makes them deserting the movement”.

The three senior military commanders had been part of the group’s negotiating team.

The military spokesman said that the SPLA (IO) Military High Command Leadership immediately instructed all its supporters in the movement in, and out, to cease communication with the defectors.

In September 2019, SPLA-IO Maj Gen James Ochan Puot who had been in charge of its 5th division in Maiwut broke away from the government main peace partner and joined the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).

In a report in January 2020, the ceasefire monitoring body blamed the government army for welcoming the splinter general Puot saying the move was against the spirit of peace.

SPLM/A-IO family affairs

The splinter group in a statement released on Tuesday morning announced their resignation from the Machar’s led group, pointing to the mismanagement of the SPLM/A-IO. saying it turned into a family affair.

“We have also decided to resign from our respective assignments. The reasons are many but important among them is the way the movement is being run and managed.”

“The SPLM/A-IO has lost direction, vision and command of the forces that it is turned into family affairs without consultation with military command council in the movement is case in point.”

Machar has been criticized in the social media for the appointment of his wife Angelina Nyajany Teny as the defence minister.

The breakaway group said they joined President Salva Kiir for the interest of peace.

“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”.

(ST)