Updated at 2:10pm, April 10, 2015(PST)
Correction: Brig.Gen. Gatwech served as a Chief Administrator at 5th Division in Western Bahr el Ghazal
April 10, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — A military general in South Sudan army, under the leadership of General Salva Kiir Mayardit, has defected the government troops and joins the resistance movement under the former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
Brigadier General Gabriel Gatwech Puoch Mar, the Chief Administrator at 5th Division in Western Bahr el Ghazal, has declared his defection to the rebels this morning in Nairobi, Kenya, where he was received by a huge delegation of SPLM-IO elites.
Gen. Gatwech has pledged his allegiance to the opposition and commits to fight to change the regime of his former boss, President Salva Kiir.
Gatwech’s defection is significant to Juba, not only for having served Salva Kiir administration in Western Bahr el Ghazal, but also for his influence in Upper Nile state, where his elder brother struggles to hold power under Salva Kiir leadership.
Gen. Gatwech is a younger brother to the embattled Upper Nile State Governor, Simon Kun Puoch.
General Gatwech is expected to release his full declaration in Nairobi before heading to Ethiopia to meet the SPLM-IO Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, and to attend the second convention of SPLM/SPLA [IO] in Pagak, South Sudan.
The defection of Brig. Gatwech has raised moral in SPLM/SPLA [in Opposition]. Many colleagues and comrades of Gen. Gatwech are pouring in their congratulations through his new Kenyan phone number.
“I want to sincerely congratulate my brother and a long time colleague, General Gabriel Gatwech Puoch Mar, who declared himself to fight for the cause of his people, the South Sudanese, who have been killed and are being killed by Salva Kiir.” Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the former South Sudan ambassador to United States, breaks the news.
“Please welcome him to our cause of fighting for freedom” Amb. Lol announced.
“Congratulation to General Gatwech Puoch Mar for joining the fight for justice and equality against injustice and inequality. You are welcomed into the fold of your comrades and heroes.” said another comrade, Riek Puoch Deng, a Public Relations Officer and the former National youth chairman.
While some colleagues express doubts of his defection, others are calling on the Brigadier General to “join his brothers in the field”.
“You are welcome to join hand with your people to fight the fascist and genocidal regime led by criminal and killer Kiir. Struggle continue. God bless South Sudan.” Puoch continued.
“Welcome Gen. Gatwech, we are proud of you dear. We as your people, we love you so much come and joint your brother in the field.”said Zeko Gatkek.
More to follow on Brig. Gen. Gatwech’s profile in the next articles!