Machar’s SPLA-IO suffers another loss as heavy weight commander defects to Kiir
The main armed opposition SPLA-IO led by First Vice President Riek Machar has suffered yet another loss after the group’s sector three commander Maj. Gen. Michael Wal Nyak declared his defection along thousands of troops to President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
JUBA, OCTOBER 20, 2023 (SUDANS POST) — South Sudan’s main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/SPLA-IO) has yet again suffered another loss after its military’s sector three commander Maj. Gen. Michael Wal Nyak declared his defection to President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
In a statement extended to Sudans Post today, Gen. Wal who has been a close ally of Machar in the Greater Jonglei State since outbreak of war in 2013 said the first vice president has been sidelining many from his community when it comes to military promotion and said he has switched side to the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) under Kiir.
“The SPLM/A-IO, sector three split under the command of Major General Michael Wal Nyak and the entire political wing would like to inform all comrades in uniforms … that we have officially announced the Comprehensive Declaration and switched our allegiances to Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) and South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) under H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit,” Gen. Wal said in the statement.
“The purpose and rationale of this comprehensive declaration is triggered by myriads of concerns confronting service men and women, Lou Nuer citizens in the SPLM/A-IO compelled us to join the government. Those concerns are crystal clear to all comrades who have dedicated their time, resources in the SPLM/A-IO movement at it inception in 2013 civil wars,” he added.
“Our pressing concerns are not limited to intentional humiliation and marginalization, lack of promotion and ranks confirmation of Greater Lou Nuer sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives to serve the movement that orchestrated by Dr. Riek Machar, the Chairman of the SPLM/A-IO Movement,” he added.
General Wal’s defection constitutes a major blow to Machar who is struggling to put his group together as he is expected to face Kiir in a would-be election slated for December 2023.
On October 7, General Simon Maguek Gai, a senior SPLA-IO commander who was the group’s sector two commander in Unity State, declared his defection to Kiir’s party and the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) after accusing Machar of nepotism and failing the SPLM/A-IO.
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