Sep 12, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — A group of soldiers from Thomas Cirilo’s National Salvation Front has defected and declared its allegiance to the SPLA-IO under the leadership of the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
According to a press statement extended to our editorial team, the group is led by Colonel Louis Wani Morris who claims to have defected with over 200 trained soldiers and youth.
“today, this afternoon, twenty five (25) officers all under command of Col.Louis Wani Morris, along with other two hundred and seventy (270) none commissioned officers, (NCOs) and men have defected from the National Salvation Front (NAS) and declared their full allegiance to the SPLM/A (IO) movement, under the chairmanship of Dr.Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, Chairman and Commander in Chief (C-in-C) of SPLM/A(IO), and the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan.” Said Brig, Gen. William Gatjiath Deang.
Speaking to the SPLA-IO spokesman, Col. Louis Wani emphasized that their allegiance to the SPLA-IO is based on the momentum the armed opposition has established over the last seven years.
“Col.Louis Wani Morris, said in his press meeting that, we have not just declared ourselves anyhowly, rather than knowing the SPLM/A(IO) as a movement, is becoming more stronger and undoubtedly carrying a huge task and responsibilities to serves the people of South Sudan in a right direction”. Col. Louis Wani Morris said.
According to Brig. William Gatjiath, SPLA-IO leadership has welcomed the defection.
“This huge military team has received by the SPLA (IO) high command leadership and warmly seated with confidence and comradeship spirit in the movement.” Brig. Gen Gatjiath said.
The National Salvation Front is one of the hold-out groups that does not recognize the peace agreement that is being implemented by Kiir and Machar in Juba.
For the past two years, NAS and a combined force of SSPDF and the SPLA-IO have been engaged in skirmishes across the Equatorian region leading to more displacement and death.