South Sudan: Opposition Army generals Defect, Sources say New VP Deng is wooing them with money

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A close door meeting in a remote village in Guit area, the home county of the controversially appointed new South Sudan Vice President Taban Deng Gai according to sources has seen two generals defect from opposition ranks.

The two are said to be loyal to embattled First Vice President Riek Machar.

There are reports that Gai, who is badly in need of soldiers to strengthen his vice presidency is using money to bribe the generals and soldiers who have fought for the last two years and a half without pay.

The officers together with at least 30 soldiers declared allegiance to government in Bentiu Unity State, in northern South Sudan, near the International border with the Republic of Sudan.

According to the Sudan Tribune the two generals; Lt. Gen Dor Monyju  Maj. Gen Liah Diu were commanders during the civil war and allies of Deng during a time he was a governor of the state.

Reports also indicate that other senior officers who joined are Maj. Gen Makal Kuol Deng and Lt. Col Gatyoai Chidong and are believed to have escaped on Sunday night.

The Spokesperson of Machar’s appointed governor of Unity State, Major Weirial Puok Baluang confirmed to the media that two generals allied to Gai have left the SPLA-IO with few bodyguards and have reported themselves to the government.

“We would like to inform our people that, Gen. Makal Kuol Deng and Lt. Col Gatnyoai Chidong along with 12 guards deserted sector two at 3:00am night. We believe the intention of the two comrades is to join Taban Deng who is desperately in need of soldiers,” Sudan Tribune quoted Baluang.

An opposition appointed commissioner, Maj. General, Hoth Chuol, also said that his forces clashed with bodyguards of Lt. General Dor Monyjur and Liah Diu as they headed towards Bentiu town to join President Kiir’s forces.

Media reports indicate that the defected General Monyjur left Juba few days ago on the mission Gai sent him to in his home county of Guit to try to woe soldiers on his side in the area, but was reportedly resisted and decided to flee towards Bentiu.

Credit: Sudan Tribune