SPLM-IO comes under fire after enlisting Ethiopian officers into its forces

Chairman of the SPLM-IO, Dr. Riek Machar |Photo: File

South Sudan’s main opposition group has been caught between a hard rock and a place after recruiting two high-ranking officers who had previously served under the Ethiopian Unity Patriot Army – a faction headed by opposition leader Thowath Pal Chay.

On Tuesday, the SPLM-IO Sector 4th Deputy Commander, Major-General Khor Chuol Giet confirmed the arrival of the two high-ranking commanders

“This is to inform all of you that, we have one Brigadier General Pal Ojulu Babuoth and Coloniel Thalow Babuoth Puoch who defected from (EUPA) Ethiopian Unity Patriot Army let by Comrade Thowath Pal Chay.”

According to Gen. Khor, the agreement that led to their defection was between them and the SPLM-IO Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar.

“Therefore, Brigadier General Pal Ojulu and Coloniel Thalow Babuoth are now defected from the above Movement and they Join now the SPLA-I0 meanwhile Brig Gen Pal Ojulu met our Chairman Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon in Addis Ababa last year on the date 09/02/2020 and was directed by our Chairman to come to us in Jekow as well as he came to us in Jekow in April last year as he is now with us in Jekow.”

South Sudan is a close ally to Ethiopia and the two countries have maintained their strong bilateral relations since the independence in 2011.

It’s not clear what prompted the defection of these two officers from the Ethiopian Unity Patriot Army
to South Sudan’s opposition group.

Attempts by Thessherald to reach Ethiopian authorities for comment hit a snag.

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