Jonglei State, News

SPLA-IO receives eight army defectors

By Manas James

Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO), led by First Vice President Riek Machar, has received eight officers who defected from Gen. Johnson Olony’s SPLA-IO Kitgwang faction.

Under the leadership of Lt. Col. Kuol Thon Kur, the defectors cited poor administration as reason for leaving their previous base near Malakal, where they said they were deployed at the army’s intelligence unit.

Lt. Col. Thon further stated that his decision to join the SPLA-IO in Jonglei State was due to administrative differences and a perceived lack of integration within the army in Juba.

“There is poor administration within the army leadership. So, I decided to Join SPLA-IO because I feel I would be comfortable here,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Peter Gatkek Tulchek, the SPLA-IO’s sector 3 brigade commander, confirmed the arrival of the defectors and warmly welcomed them.

He acknowledged that Lt. Col. Thon and his comrades may have experienced unfavorable conditions and felt more comfortable with the SPLA-IO.

“Preparations are underway to reintegrate the defectors into the SPLA-IO. Lt. Col. Thon had traveled from his former base in Owac to Langkien, where the SPLA-IO headquarters is located,” he said.

“The SPLA-IO’s willingness to embrace the defectors demonstrates our commitment to inclusivity and unity among different factions,” he added.


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