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Defecting SSPDF officers declare allegiance to exiled former Chief of Staff, Paul Malong Awan

Juba, South Sudan,

May 2, 2021 — Announcing their defection from South Sudan People Defense Force under the leadership of President Salva Kiir, a group of officers said they have abandoned the government to join the former Chief of Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan.

Former South Sudan military chiefs, General Gabriel Jok Riak (right) and General Paul malong Awan (left) seen at a ceremony in Juba in 2015 (Photo credit: unknown)
Former South Sudan military chiefs, General Gabriel Jok Riak (right) and General Paul malong Awan (left) seen at a ceremony in Juba in 2015 (Photo credit: unknown)

“It’s of a great splendid and honour to announce our resignation from the SSPDF under the leadership and command of President Salva Kiir Mayardit to the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A)  of the former army Chief Gen. Paul Malong Awan whose mission is to reform the failed state which has lost direction and principles of governance and protection of the people of South Sudan.” The officers said.

According to the leader of the defecting group, Captain Peter Malieth Malek , the officers are defecting because they believe President Salva Kiir has turned the country into a hunting ground where he promotes killing and tribalism.

“He turned the country as a hunting ground which promotes tribalism and discrimination” He continued

“His legacy is killing and appointment of looters into the high profiles in the country.” They added.

The group of officers accused president Salva Kiir of having lost vision and true command of the armies.

 “Kiir’s administration with his cohorts has lost vision and true command of the armies.” Captain Malieth said.

The officers accused President Salva Kiir of weak leadership saying the president has allowed the neighboring countries to destroy the economy of South Sudan.

“The country is drained and spoiled economically by his counterparts from the neighboring countries or region.” They said.

The officers also accused president Kiir of “promoting corruption and bloody politics in the world’s youngest country”.

Nyamilepedia could not verify the number of defecting officers but they quote a big number. 

Since the former Chief of Staff of the SPLA, Gen. Paul Malong  Awan defected from the government in 2017, most of his loyal officers who remained behind in the system have been raising numerous concerns including killing and harassment, and some have switched sides a few times.

While Gen. Malong is in exile in Kenya trying to negotiate a peace deal with the government, his forces operate in the country at undisclosed locations.

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