SPLA Brigadier Defects With Troops As Calm Is Restored In Yei

A Sudan People’s Liberation Army Brigadier in Yei River County has defected with a platoon to join the forces loyal to former vice President Dr. Riek Machar in fighting, an official said Sunday.

Yei SPLA Brigadier Defects With Troops As Calm Is Restored
Oba Cecilia Tito, the Mayor of Yei Municipality confirmed that Brigadier Peter Taab defected with a platoon on the night of 4 January 2014 and urged residents to remain calm. [File]

By Petia Suliman Loro

YEI, 06 January 2014 [Gurtong] – Oba Cecilia Tito, the Mayor of Yei Municipality confirmed to the press in Yei that Brigadier Peter Taab defected with a platoon on the night of 4 January 2014 at around 10pm where Peter Taab’s forces started firing bullets into the air to pave way as they moved.

The defectors are said to be heading towards Mukaya Payam in Lainya County with an aim of joining their colleagues who defected in Mundri County in Western Equatoria State.

Oba said two soldiers and one young girl sustained gunshot wounds through crossfire as people started running in different directions, adding that the girl and one injured soldier are currently receiving treatment at Yei Civil Hospital and Yei Medical Centre respectively but the other soldier is missing and could have sustained a minor injury which does need medical attention.

The mayor assured the residents that security is under control and urged all the citizens to go back to their homes as the deserters have already fled the county.

She called upon the organized forces to report back to their various units and only those authorized on official duty and the joint operation forces will be allowed to patrol the town, and those unauthorized soldiers who rushed to save the security situation in the town are asked to return their military hardware in the stores so as not to create more fear among the civilians in the town.

Oba urged all the community leaders, chiefs and the organized forces to stay away from the spirit of revenge and to see that no resident in Yei town is intimidated or harassed.

All religious leaders are also reminded to continue preaching the messages of peace, unity and reconciliation among the leaders and the citizens of the war ravaged country, so that the hearts of the two parties may be driven towards peace restoration.

The Business communities are also being urged to reopen their shops and food stores so as to feed the population as the Municipal also availed the residents with the telephones contacts of all the leaders of the organized forces on duty for easy coordination in case of any unfamiliar movement in the residential areas.

Movement along Yei-Juba road is also temporarily suspended due to the presence of the defected forces roaming on that geographical location but Yei- Kaya port is open for travelers to use from morning up to 5pm.

Although calm is restored in Yei Town, many residents are still full of fear of what would happen; recalling the bad moments in Juba and Bor and this has made some residents to leave for their villages.

Speaking to the press in Juba on Sunday, SPLA spokesman Col. Philip Aguer confirmed to the country the defection of army platoons in Morobo, Yei and Mundri Counties.

A Platoon is comprised of about 30 soldiers, said Aguer.

Aguer told reporters that severe clashes are still going on between the government forces and forces loyal to Dr. Riek Machar in Bor, Unity state and also the SPLA are advancing toward Bentui town.

According to the presidential Spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny, peace talks between the Government and Rebel delegation in Ethiopia capital Addis Ababa started Sunday but the table is full of conditions from the rebel delegation which is seen to most likely affect the peace negotiation, as the president said he “cannot accept peace with preconditions”.
 

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