Rebels allied to Riek Machar’s Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) have warned that anyone who is with the armed opposition and dares to commit or is suspected of committing an act of betrayal against the SPLM/A-IO will be dealt with.
The new strategy, rebels claim, will allow the SPLA-IO and its intelligence branches to deal with any individual or group suspected of double-dealing.
“Anyone is free to defect or claim defection, but when we identified you, you will be swiftly dealt with,” a senior rebel officer said on Saturday in the SPLM/A-IO stronghold Pagak.
The warning was made in the wake of the killing of two Generals linked to a Juba sponsored rebel faction led by Dr. Lam Akol.
According to SPLA-IO intelligence, General Gabriel Gatwech Chan, who is also known as Tanginye, was killed in Amrah by the SPLA-IO under the overall command of Lt. Gen. Johnson Olony. The rebels also claim to have killed Tanginye’s deputy Yuanis Okiech.
Gen. Gatwech (Tanginye) was the Chief of Staff of Akol’s Juba-linked rebel movement, and the rebels said they killed him early this week after he refused to accept ‘options’ given to him by the SPLA-IO. The rebel military command also said that Okiech was killed along with his bodyguards in mountainous location after his communications and movements were intercepted by the SPLA-IO intelligence division.
The armed opposition says Gen. Tanginye’s soldiers first attacked one of its strategic locations in Upper Nile State in a move seen as a plan to clear the way for Juba to bring in a combined force from South Sudan’s government, Sudanese JEM rebel group and the SPLA-North.