JUBA – A senior military commander belonging to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny in Unity state has dismissed, as fake, reports of defection to Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual.
Gen. Gatwech is formerly the chief of staff of the SPLA-IO, but in August, he defected to form a group of his own following a failed attempt to remove First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar as chairman and commander in chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO).
Since then, senior opposition commanders and politicians allied to Machar have been switching their allegiance to General Gatwech’s new rebel movement known as SPLM/SPLA (IO) Kitgwang faction.
Kitgwang is a village in northern Upper Nile state and is the birth place of General Simon Gatwech’s rebel faction in where several rebel commanders previously allied to Machar met to discuss the unsuccessful ouster in August.
In a statement following reports that he had defected to Gen. Gatwech, Major General Samuel Dok Wanjang said he hasn’t defected and that he was still loyal to First Vice President Machar’s faction.
“This notice serve to inform all members of SPLM-IO on the allegation made on my name that I, Maj. General Samuel Dok Wanjang, have defected to Kitgwang Declaration under the leadership of Gatwech Dual and Johnson Olony,” he said in the statement a copy of which was sent to Sudans Post.
“It can’t happen and it will not happen for me to join Kitgwang or any other party rather SPLM-IO under wise and able leadership of His Excellency Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO),” he added.