The Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition’s (SPLA-IO) third infantry division headquartered in Langkien town of the Jonglei State’s Nyirol County said it had arrested four of its senior military officers for allegedly trying to defect on Wednesday.
Those arrested include the armed opposition outfit’s head of wounded heroes, Lt. Gen. Machar Puoch Nhial, Maj. Gen. Makuach Gatluak, Maj. Gen. Yian Thuar Kuny, and Col. Nyang Lony respectively.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Bang Kueybol, the acting head of the SPLA-IO’s third infantry division, told Radio Tamazuj Friday that he ordered the arrest of the officers on Wednesday evening because they were ‘inciting violence’ as they allegedly tried to defect to the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).
“These generals are our members but they want to defect. They have not yet done anything bad but they are inciting violence,” Gen. Bang explained. “So, as the commander in charge, it is my role to foster security, I cannot wait for them to start fighting.”
He said the detained senior SPLA-IO officers are being investigated pending expulsion from the county.
“We are investigating them for inciting violence and trying to defect while we are for peace. We are holding them because we want more people arrested. After the others are arrested, we will expel them to Juba so that they practice their politics there,” Gen. Bang added.
Khor Nyang Mabor, the SPLA-IO’S third Division communication officer, said Nyirol is peaceful despite Wednesday’s incident and called on the civil population to be calm. He also appealed to the rest of the peace partners to abide by the peace agreement by not encouraging defections.
“Such defections are orchestrated by our main peace partner led by the president (Salva Kiir) to delay the security arrangements because these people were planning to cause problems here and then escape to Waat,” Nyang said.
For his part, James Bol Makuey, the Nyirol County commissioner, said the county was calm despite the incident.
“As the commissioner, the arrest was reported to me,” Commissioner Bol said. “Generally, the security situation is calm because these developments are taking place within the barracks. Civilians are not involved.”
By: Radio Tamazuj