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South Sudan opposition denies fresh defections to SSPDF

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement -in opposition (SPLM-IO) on Wednesday denied another wave of defections of soldiers to the South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) in Unity State.

 This came after five generals from the SPLM-IO defected on October 6 to the SSPDF. The defectors claimed to have crossed over to the SSPDF with more than 200 soldiers.

“Only five of them (generals) defected from SPLM-IO to SSPDF, those who have defected from our camp were Simon Maguek Gai Majak, Dok Wanjang, Peter Bol Duoth and Paul Gatnor Ngundeng and William Dak Gatkuoth, these are the defectors and there has been no more defections,” Maj. Yai Pazal Yoal, the spokesperson for SPLA-IO division four A and B told Juba Echo in an interview.

Yoal said that they recently held consultative meeting that was attended by senior officers of the SPLA-IO aimed at inducting their ranks and file about the objectives and mission of the former rebel movement.

He also downplayed the defection of Lt. Gen Simon Maguek Gai, saying the latter was frustrated after being denied the ministry of interior position in the national government that was given to Angelina Teny, the wife of First Vice President Riek Machar who leads the SPLM/A-IO.

However, Lt.Gen Simon Maguek Gai and Maj. Gen Dok Wanjang including three others accused Riek Machar of practicing nepotism within the SPLM/A-IO.

They claim FVP Dr. Machar has been handing leadership positions allocated to the party in the transitional unity government to only his close family members.

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