Rebel officer abandon Machar over “tribalism”, joins Cirilo

An unidentified SPLA Maj. General (File photo)

An unidentified SPLA Maj. General (File photo)

June 8th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – A Rebel officer loyal to the SPLM-IO under the leadership of the country’s former First Vice-President, Riek Machar, have abandoned Machar’s movement and joined Cirilo’s National Salvation Front in protest to what he referred to as “tribalism” from Machar and his close relatives in the SPLM-IO accusing the SPLM-IO Chairman of being power hungry

The defecting officer, according to to a resignation letter obtained by the Nyamilepedia, was the Commander of Signal Unit (CSU) for the headquarters of SPLA-IO division commander Gen. Wisly Welebe in Central Equatoria region. He said he defected with four other junior officer and 137 troops.

“I would like to inform you [Gen. Wisly] and the SPLM-IO Commander in Chief Dr. Riek Machar that, I Colonel Gasim Sanday Robert, Commander of Signal Unit in the Hqs of Gen. Wisly Welebe at Senema, Western Yei, with four other officers and 137 other ranks: 1st Lt. Dario Taban Moris, 1st Lt. Stulen Sanday Maris, 2nd Lt. Francies Adur and 2nd Lt. John Moris Justin, have decided to resign from the SPLM/A-IO and join the National Salvation Front under the visionary and committed leadership of Gen. Thomas Cirilo Swaka for many reasons,” the officer wrote in a letter date 7th June 2018.

He said he and the accompanying officers left the SPLM-IO because of domination policies and tribalism by Riek Machar and  his close relatives accusing Machar of being power hungry who he said is ready to sell them to Salva Kiir for the sack of power.

“Domination policies and tribalism by Riek Machar and his close relatives. The I.O Chairman is [a] power hungry and is ready to ell us out to Salva Kiir for power and forsake us,” he wrote adding that one of the reasons he defected is the disorganization of movement.

The defection followed a similar decision early this week by a rebel commander who abandoned the rebellion in Eastern Equatoria state and joined the government of Salva Kiir Mayardiit.

In the past, a number of high-ranking military officers have defected from Machar’s SPLM-IO and joined Thomas Cirilo’s National Salvation front.

Nyamilepedia could not reach SPLM-IO for comment.