BENTIU – A senior SSPDF general who was allied to General Mathew Puljang has abandoned the government of president Salva Kiir saying it was taking them down by recalling General Puljang.
General Monytur defected to the holdout opposition group, South Sudan United Front (SSUF) led by former army chief of staff General Paul Malong Awan after moving out of a government base in nothern parts of Unity state.
The former SSPDF general claimed that he defected along a thousand members of the South Sudan army.
In a statement on Monday, General Paul Malong Awan welcomed him praising him for abandoning a regime that has and continued to kill its own citizens.
South Sudan president Salva Kiir on Monday appointed General Johnson Juma Okot as the new South Sudan army chief replacing General Gabriel Jok Riak who was relieved from the position.
Army chief replaced
The defection of the SSPDF general comes after president Salva Kiir who is also the commander in chief of the army sacked army chief Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak.
A presidential decree announced on national television said Chief of Defense Forces General Gabriel Jok Riak had been removed with immediate effect. It did not specify any particular reason for the dismissal.
Jok, from Jonglei State in the Upper Nile region, was appointed as head of the army in May 2018, following the death of General James Ajongo after a short illness.
In another decree, Kiir appointed General Johnson Juma Okot as the new army chief.
Okot, from Eastern Equatoria State, was the assistant chief of defense forces for administration and finance.
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