Feb 27, 2015(Nyamilpedia) — The SPLA, rebels’ faction, under the former Vice President, Riek Machar, downplays replacing a disgruntled Brigadier General, Mr. Lul Ruai Koang, who defected to Juba on 18th February, 2015.
According to Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, the deputy military spokesperson, Colonel James Lony Thichiot, will be acting as the Military Spokesman until further notice.
“Colonel James Lony Thichiot Ngundeng is the acting spokesman in replacing the defected official, Brigadier Lul Ruai Koang. James Lony used to deputize Lul.” Dak clarifies.
“He will be acting until confirmation or when a new person is appointed. Media representatives may from now on direct to him queries pertaining to military activities…” Dak ascertains.
Dak and many other reliable sources within the inner circle of Machar have tried to clarify over the week following an allegation that Yien Mathew has been appointed as the new military spokesperson for the rebels.
According to an insider, who has not been granted to speak on the rebels’ military affairs, there are no indications that an appointment could be made soon; a move that raises doubts on Lul’s defection.
The Opposition, SPLM/SPLA, believes that the lone young brigadier, who has been very vocal, did not defect but “deserted” his position.
Before he declares his defection, Mr. Lul held a series of private meetings with members of Salva Kiir government in Nairobi and Kampala, which he later confessed to the leadership of SPLM/SPLA [IO], apologized and promised to rectify.
Lul, however, did not meet the agreed datelines to solve his personal problems with his colleagues.
SPLM/SPLA [IO] leadership believes Mr. Lul confined himself to Nairobi, Kenya, until he announced his defection and fled to Juba the following day on 19th February, 2015.
According to a member of mediation committee, who attempted to reconcile Brigadier Lul with his colleagues, including Capt. Mabior Garang de Mabior, Lul was buying time to bargain his return to Juba.
On 12th November, 2014, Lul met the regime’s Chief of General Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, in Kampala and continued to meet Lou-Nuer politicians and sympathizers of Kiir’s regime in Nairobi Kenya between November to mid February, 2015.
Although it is yet to be verified, it is believed that Lul was paid approximately $250, 000 to switch sides.
“I would like to make it clear that no one paid me to join the SPLA in opposition in the first place and hence no one should have thought i was paid in order to abandon the rebellion.” Lul decries the allegations.
“I have been condemned across the globe, betrayed by some of my closest friends and relatives in the days leading to my declaration.” Lul regrets the countless condemnations from his Greater Lou-Nuer communities, whom he claimed to save!