South Sudan

Key Army Officer Defects to Machar Rebel Movement


viagra sale geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>According to the rebels’ spokesperson, Brig Lul Koang, “a record of 18 MPs defected on a single day (June 7) to SPLM/SPLA (Opposition.”

He further revealed that on the same day, Maj. Teah Gatjiek Wich PSC (K) “announced his defection to people’s resistance movement hours after graduating from the prestigious Defense Staff College at Karen in Nairobi, Kenya.”

Koang said the defectors accused Kiir’s government of “rampant corruption, tribal domination of the government institutions, poor government performance, bad foreign relations and poor diplomatic image and serious insecurity and gross violation of human rights.”

If true, this development underlines the widening fractures within Kiir’s government.

The South Sudan leader, who is struggling to contain a rebellion led by his former Vice President, recently said external forces which never got a share of oil extraction concessions have been quietly stoking tensions in the country with the view of overthrowing his government.

This was perceived as a veiled attack on the west which has never forgiven Kiir for handing oil deals worth billions of dollars to giant Chinese corporations.

Towards December 2013, intelligence shows that billions of dollars were raised to bribe army officers to break ranks with Kiir’s government and unseat him in a coup.

However, the move backfired with President Museveni quickly mobilising some of the finest and battle-hardened commandos to guard Kiir’s presidency.

UPDF took charge of the airport for reinforcements and military supplies before capturing Bor, a strategic town which the rebels hoped to use as a tactical base to overrun Juba.

The rebels who had camped at Bor were overwhelmed by a sustained campaign of air bombardments before fleeing the area.

An attempt to recapture the town from UPDF met stiff resistance with the rebels registering heavy battle losses.

Another UPDF war reserve force is stationed near the Uganda-South Sudan border should need for reinforcement arises.

President Kiir and Machar are expected to sign a peace deal in Ethiopia on Tuesday to pave way for the formation of a coalition government including opposition and other stakeholders.


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