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Defection against defection still continues within Political parties

Another two senior military officers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-in opposition (SPLM/A-IO) have defected to the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).

The SPLA-IO officers are claimed to have defected with 37 soldiers.

The latest defection comes in the wake of the high profile defection of SPLA-IO sector commander Lt.Gen Simon Maguek Gai Majak on October 6, 2023.

SSPDF division four military spokesmen, Capt. Abot Wai Abot confirmed to Juba Echo the defection of the two SPLA-IO senior officers on Monday in an interview.

“We have received Col. Koang Machar Puoch from SPLA-IO in Dingding and Col.Tiel Gatluok Joak in Panyijiar County. Col. Puoch is now heading to Leer County where the rest of the soldiers who defected are assembling,” Wai said.

For his part, Col. Tiel Gatluok Joak who defected from Panyijiar County accused his former chairman and First Vice President Riek Machar of failing to lead the former rebel movement.

“Only few individuals control the movement (SPLM/A-IO), I am now heading to Lake State because there is no way for me to come to Bentiu division four headquarters,” Joak said.

 Maj. Yai Pazal Yoal, the SPLA-IO spokesperson in Unity state has told Juba Echo that Col. Tiel Gatluok Joak only defected with 23 local youth and not soldiers, adding that these youth are criminals who have been implicated in cattle raiding in Panyijiar County and Lakes state.

“Tiel Gatluok Joak defected following his brother who defected some months ago but he defected with only 23 youths and out of these three were military women,” Pazal said.

The SPLA-IO spokesman Col. Lam Paul Gabriel last week raised red flag on the ongoing mobilization by their former commander Lt.Gen Simon Maguek Gai Majak in Leer County, whom he accused of plotting to attack SPLA-IO bases in Adok Port and Thornyor Payam.

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