A number of SPLA-IO army commanders headed by Brigadier General Peter Gatbel Thow have defected from the opposition and joined South Sudan People Defence Force under President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
In a press release, the group accused the leadership of the SPLM-IO of handling the party and the movement affairs like a family business.
Today, August 7, 2020, I tender my resignations from the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A-IO) under the Leadership of Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon due to the following reasons:
1: The SPLM/A-IO is turned into a family enterprise by Dr. Riek Machar and his wife Madam Angelina Jany Teny and the recent ministerial appointments of Riek Machar family members to the Revitalized Government of Nationality Unity (R-TGONU) is a case in point.
2: The endless mass defections to the SPLM/SSPDF are caused by disorganization, frustration and confusion within the ranks and files of the SPLM/A-IO.
3: Promotion of family members and associates who lack military experiences and training in the expenses of career military officers and NCOs.
With the above following reasons, I, therefore, tender my resignation along with my servicemen in uniform with immediate effect and declared my allegiance to South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) under the Commander In Chief of the SSPDF and Supreme Commander of the regular Organized forces His Excellency General Salva Kiir Mayardiit, President of the Republic of South Sudan.”
The officers mentioned that their determination to join the Kiir’s administration is in the interest of creating peace and unity in country.
The officers and their subordinates declared their loyalty in the capital, Juba, after the government facilitated their travell from Yei.