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South Sudan army chief reconciles with rebel commander


September 29, 2016 (JUBA) - General Dau Aturjong, a high ranking military officer who abandoned government at the height of the civil war in 2014 and joined rebellion, has returned to the South Sudanese army (SPLA).

General Dau Aturjong (ST)

Aturjong defected to the armed opposition movement led by South Sudan’s former vice-president, Riek Machar, but has now rejoined the army and also instructed his forces Aweil to follow him without conditions.

What prompted the ex-rebel commander to switch sides remain unclear, with his supporters claiming he responded to call from the community to forget the past and open a new political page.

Other, however, claimed Aturjong failed to secure a high ranking position within the armed opposition leadership, during the selection and recommendation for officials to occupy high level positions, including in cabinet, upon returning to the capital, Juba.

In an attempt to assure the public of his reconciliation with the army chief of staff, General Malong Awan, the duo travelled to Aweil, the former administrative headquarters of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state and held a community meeting to announce the abrupt decision.

While addressing the community, Aturjong said he abandoned the armed opposition for government and returned to the community in order to work for peace and reconciliation among the population.

“There have been who have been asking me what I was doing with Riek Machar and what did I get from him. I tell them I was not going for a position. There was a reason for which I went and I have now returned because I have accepted the call of the community and today mark my return. It is a happy day. It is an historic day for the people of Aweil and our message is that we want to work together, we want unity,” said Aturjong.

He likened his decision to switch allegiance from the armed opposition to the government side to cleanliness of a person who cleans his own house thereby attracting other people to follow suit.

Meanwhile, Awan said the former rebel commander was a “liberator” known by everyone in the area, but decided to join rebellion due to “grievances” and other “political disappointments”.

“It is indeed a very important day for the people of Aweil as General Dau has said it correctly, because in reality General Dau is one of the people who were in the struggle. Everybody knows him. He was just absent because of a certain disappointment which we don’t want to go back to it. And he has come back without any condition,” Awan told the community.

He said Aturjong was in the community to assure the people that he was ready to work with government in the struggle to restore peace.

“So that is why we have just taken this day to be for him in Aweil to talk to his people and to be seen by his people that he is just among us and he is highly welcome,” stressed Awan, who later held Aturjong’s hand as they waved to the public to signify reconciliation.


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  • 29 September 2016 23:48, by Naath


    I thank you for not lying about Dr. Riek like many who defects to the government and lie, lie, and lie about Riek.

    repondre message

    • 30 September 2016 08:57, by Midit Mitot

      Dau Aturjong has rejoined Dinka Gov,t but what I know is,you will be given good money, good position for a meant time, thereafter, you will slaughter by Malong, take note of this.

      repondre message

  • 30 September 2016 00:08, by Augustino

    People of Mading Aweil are our pride in Bahr el Ghazel. Dau Aturjong is son of Mading that’s why he did not killed his people he liberated during days of liberation. I like the way he talked, not mention others or abuse them. Welcome back Man of people.

    repondre message

    • 30 September 2016 07:05, by jubaone


      Well, now Aweilians can now peacefully leave Equatoria to go back and develop their shattered lives and stop their folks from running away due to hunger. Riak should not be an excuse to stagnate in your development. We Equatorians urge all jienges to reconcile, pack their belongings and go home cos we want to also organize our lives. Bye bye Awelians.

      repondre message

  • 30 September 2016 01:45, by King of Nyamlel

    #stronger together. Let’s united as Aweilians and wait for what tomorrow brings.As we are the most hated people since crisis started, it better to look aback, set apart our different and wait for a common enemy, whether in Gogorial, Wau, Malakal, Equatoria or Bor!

    repondre message

  • 30 September 2016 06:14, by William Atak Garang.

    Forgiveness is what is needed in South Sudan let our brothers in Equatoria & Upper Nile States, learn from this former rivals to forgive and united themselves for the sake of peace. Gen. Dau, Gen. Malong and the other generals are the most respected leaders in Aweil. Without them, there was no S.Sudan precisely to the great victory they brought to our Country. Welcome back and feel at home Mr. Gen

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  • 30 September 2016 07:37, by Akeen Mangarthon

    Welcome back Gen.Dau Aturjong. We are proud of you together with Gen.Paul Malong. What you did is an indication that you are real patriotic in this nation who doesn’t want to prolong grievances that destroy the country. The spirit you have to listen to the calls of community is something that we all admire in greater Bhar el gazal and South Sudan in general. Dr.Dhieu Mathok is also welcome

    repondre message

    • 30 September 2016 13:43, by Redeemer

      There is no country in the world that no member of one community can stay in another community in the same country, the habit is only and only found in Equatoria. Why don’t you take a simple example that Equatorians are also with other communities in the country and beyond, we will force togetherness until you will say yes. your habit is creating fear for an Equatorian to come to power

      repondre message

      • 30 September 2016 21:12, by jubaone


        Equatorians love their states and don’t really feel like going anywhere unless of course. I must admit no reason would make me want to live and work in Aweil, Bor or Tonj. Jienges have that innate drive to move everywhere and seem not to love their states. Nationalism begins by first loving your e.g luak dearly. So stay and develop Aweil and leave Equatorians to develop themselves. Ok?

        repondre message

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