JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
The South Sudanese army (SPLA) confirmed
on Thursday that its senior officer has defected to the rebels
amid ongoing standoff with the former army Chief of General
Staff General Paul Malong.
Brigadier Lul Ruai Koang revealed that Chan Garang, formerly
of the 7th division in Torit, Imatong State before
his recent defection to rebels, had been under investigation
on charges of rape, murder and cattle theft committed 14 years
headquarters would like to admit that one of our officers
Garang defected. The news about his defection came to us not
long ago; the commander in charge of his previous unit wrote
official letter admitting that Garang defected from the
national army,” Koang said in Juba.
several officers like Thomas Cirilo, the former Deputy Chief
of Logistics who defected from the SPLA last year, and is now
leading a separate rebellion from the main SPLA-in opposition
rebels under former First Vice President Riek Machar.
Koang said Garang,
a former affiliate of a militia group led by Agany Abdel Bagi
Ayii, escaped justice because he was about to be dismissed
from the SPLA without post-service benefits for the serious
crimes he committed in 2003 in the Northern Bahr El Ghazal
He added that
Garang was a beneficiary of the general amnesty issued to
several militias to join the SPLA prior to the independence of
South Sudan in 2011.
“All these crimes
he (Garang) had committed were reflected in the verdict and
the decision was made that he would be expelled from the SPLA
without post-service benefits. So he disappeared only for us
to hear on Voice of America that he had defected,” Koang
was quoted by media reports to have defected because he was
unhappy with the treatment meted out by the State on Malong
who is under detention, but the latter’s wife Lucy Ayak
dismissed Garang’s view.
army spokesperson also denied knowledge of any request by
Malong to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to mediate
the current impasse in the capital.
“Its part of the
wider rumor mongering which is going on. Once everything is
handled diplomatically and politically, I don’t see any reason
why UN should come in, any small problem we have is going to
be solved by us since we have the solution,” Koang said.
He added that the
ongoing standoff is a political issue which is being handled
by the leadership to ward off some bad elements from wrecking
He reiterated that
Malong no longer qualifies to have the 30 bodyguards at the
center of the standoff which the State wants to withdraw for
deployment elsewhere from the general’s home adjacent to the
“He was an SPLA
soldier and former Chief of General Staff, but from the time
he was relieved of his duties he became an ordinary civilian
and that is why we are saying he is no longer one of us, he
does not qualify to have a platoon at his home,” he said.
Malong who is
indicted by the United States is largely blamed for
orchestrating the renewed fighting in July 2016 that forced
rebel leader Machar to flee into exile.
descended into violence in December 2013, after political
dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy
Riek Machar led to split within the SPLA, leaving soldiers to
fight alongside ethnic lines between the two major ethnic
groups Dinka and Nuer of which the two rivals belong
UN mission says ready to
assist in solving South Sudan standoff if requested
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said on
Thursday that it is willing to provide assistance when
requested in solving the ongoing standoff between the
government and the former Army (SPLA) Chief of General Staff
spokesperson Daniel Dickinson told Xinhua that the world body
considers this standoff an internal matter for the South
Sudanese, but UNMISS is ready to provide assistance if
requested by both sides.
this an internal matter for the South Sudanese. The Mission is
calling on all involved parties to resolve the situation
peacefully.UNMISS is ready to provide assistance if requested
by both sides,” Dickinson, who did not disclose further
details, said in Juba.
He added that the
mission is calling on all involved parties to resolve the
who was sacked in May, is under house arrest after he
disobeyed President Salva Kiir’s order to withdraw about 30 of
his bodyguards and retain three.
home, which neighbors the State House, is guarded and
patrolled by hundreds of soldiers mounting tanks on the
pretext he may escape from his detention to fight the
information Michael Makuei on Tuesday said they were still
giving room for further contacts and intervention to avoid
military confrontation with the former army chief.
The United States
Department of the Treasury indicted and effected asset freeze
for the former army chief and other two senior ranking
descended into violence in December 2013 after political
dispute between President Kiir and his former deputy turned
rebel chief Riek Machar led to split within the SPLA, leaving
soldiers to fight alongside ethnic lines between the two major
ethnic groups Dinka and Nuer, to which the two rivals belong
The 2015 peace
agreement to end the conflict was weakened after outbreak of
renewed fighting in July 2016 caused the SPLA-in opposition
rebel leader Machar to flee the capital.