De­fec­tions hit S Su­dan army

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD - – ANA

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.

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