Opposition officer defects, accuses Machar, wife of controlling group

Members of SPLA-IO who defected to Salva Kiir's SSPDF this afternoon (Photo credit: Supplied)

Members of SPLA-IO who defected to Salva Kiir’s SSPDF this afternoon (Photo credit: Supplied)

August 7, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – A senior opposition commander of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/SPLA-IO), has declared his intention to defects from the main armed opposition group and join the South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) under President Salva Kiir.

Brigadier General Peter Gatbel Thow who was deployed at the SPLA-IO division in Yei county of Central Equatoria state said he resigned from the movement because First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and his wife have turned the group into a family business and said he did not agree with recent appointments into ministerial positions.

“The SPLM/A-IO is turned into family enterprise by Dr. Riek Machar and his wife Madame Angelina Jany Teny and the recent ministerial appointments of Riek Machar family members to the Revitalized Government of Nationality Unity (R-TGONU) is a case in point,” General Gatbel said.

“The endless mass defections to the SPLM/SSPDF are caused by disorganization, frustration and confusion within the ranks and files of the SPLM/A-IO.  Promotion of family members and associates who lack military experiences and training in the expenses of career military officers and NCOs,” he added.

He further said he was tendering his resignation along with “servicemen in uniform with immediate effect and  declared my allegiance to South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) under the Commander In Chief of SSPDF and Supreme Commander of the other Organized forces His Excellency General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan.”