Defections hit S Sudan army
SOUTH Sudan’s army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), has been hit by major defections after dozens of its forces reportedly joined the armed opposition allied to first Vice-President Riek Machar – currently in South Africa – in the north of the state.
Armed opposition spokesman Colonel William Deng claimed 250 soldiers had defected from Mayom county, northwest of Bentiu town.
Those who defected, he said, were commanded by Colonel Simon Mayiel Kulang from brigade 12.
“These huge forces defected with 11 PKM, seven RPGs and a vehicle mounted with enough ammunition.”
The defectors, Deng said, were received by their sector two commander, Lieutenant-General Maguek Gai Majak. “The number of pro-government soldiers may be more than that,” he added.
According to Kulang, reasons for the defections were tribalism and nepotism by government forces.