General Dau Aturjong dismisses claims of defection

JUBA (HAN) May 12.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. General Dau Aturjong, a senior military officer in the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) under the leadership of the first vice-president, Riek Machar, has dismissed as “lies” claims that a number of officers have defected from his forces in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.

General Aturjong, the commander of the SPLA-IO forces in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, was responding to media reports that the group allegedly led by a certain Colonel James Deng Mayar has defected from him and formed a new faction.

Aturjong said he never knew James Mayar Deng and that he had never been one of his officers.

“I don’t know Deng Mayar, even physically. I am with Dr. Riek Machar up to the end,” said General Aturjong on Wednesday in Juba.

He said the allegation was a lie, adding nobody had defected from his opposition forces in Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

The group that claimed defection, according to Mayar, has decided to join rank with Brigadier General Agany Ayiii, one of the government officers who changed allegiance and joined General Peter Gatdet Yak, a senior rebel commander who defected from the opposition faction under the leadership Machar.

Yak and several officers, some of whom have already returned to the country under separate arrangements, have rejected the peace agreement signed by the government and the armed opposition in August last year.

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