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South Sudan Air Force Personnel Defected to the Rebels

Addis Ababa, September 13, 2014 (SSNA) -- Air Force military officers and Engineers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) loyal to South Sudanese president salva kiir Mayardiit have joined the rebels, saying their decision to join the SPLM/A-in Opposition is a result of lack of diversity in the army.

The officers also accused South Sudan’s government of tribalism.

In a press conference held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, the defected personnel explained some of the reasons why they decided to leave the government’s side.

“…training opportunities for South Sudanese joining the Air Force does not reflect diversity; for instance, the first batch comprised of 32 pilots, 21 of which were from Dinka tribe, the remaining 63 tribes were represented by just 11 pilots”, the statement reads in part.

“…poor promotion policy: Officers who joined the Air Force in 2007 have never been promoted and in some situations, promotions are based on ethnicity, and Poor maintenance and services police, up to two-thirds of the fleet is grounded due to corrupt practices by successive Air Force Commanders who would misappropriate funds meant for maintenance and services”, the statement added.

The names of the defected personnel are:

1. 1st Lt. Tut Jock Bov, Chief Air Force, Ground Engineer
2. 1st Lt. Pito Adwok Nyaba, Fixed Wing Pilot
3. Sgt. Ocholla Joseph, Flight Engineer
4. Pvt. Khan David Bidit, MI-17 Helicopter Pilot
5. Pvt. Liech Domach Ruei, Air Traffic Controller 
6. Mr. Riang Ruei Duop, Senior Manager, South Sudan’s Civil Aviation Authority

The Director of Military Information and Military Spokesman for the SPLA-in Opposition, Federal Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, praised the newly arrived officers. Koang declares that their defection will help reinforce the establishment of Air Force in the rebels’ controlled areas and counter the Ugandan air power.

“These are some of the best trained air servicemen; some of whom received training in South Africa, Ethiopia, Russia and the United States of America. Their defection to SPLA (Opposition) is a major blow to Juba. Their presence in the resistance movement will facilitate establishment of Air Force in liberated areas as well as help in countering UPDF’s Air force which had dominated the skies of South Sudan since the Civil War broke out on 15th December 2013”, Koang said in the statement seen by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).

The deserted SPLA personnel also said that the government of South Sudan used Air Force to transport Militias and SPLA regular soldiers who participated in the killing of innocent civilians in Juba late last year.

South Sudan News Agency’s Editor Denies Working for the Government, Calls the Report ‘Dubious’

September 11, 2014 (SSNA) -- The Editor-in-Chief of the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA), Duop Chak Wuol, has denied a media report that he was one of the fourteen (14) Nuer employees of a Chinese oil company who were recently sacked by the government of South Sudan.

The report also emphasized that the expulsed employees have links with the South Sudanese rebels.

Earlier this week, a news report by the Sudan Tribune (ST) claimed that Wuol was an employee of China’s Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC) and that he was dismissed along with other staff members, citing unspecified links with the rebels.

In his response to the narrative of removal, Mr. Wuol says the media report is a misinformation, describing it as dubious and faulty.

“Here is the truth: I am the editor-in-chief of the South Sudan News Agency (http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/) and I have never worked for South Sudan’s government, let alone the GPOC!.”, Mr. Wuol wrote on his social media page.

“Concisely, the Sudan Tribune’s news story is unjustified, flawed, and lacks logical grounds”, he observed.

The ST also published a statement which it attributed to the SSNA’s editor, Wuol. He denied knowledge of a formal interview.

“…the ST took one of my quotes from the internet and used it to make it appear as if I was quoted during the interview”, he continued.

“It is astonishing to see I believe idiom at the beginning of my original quote, in fact the statement published by the ST is a statement I said more than a year ago, there is nothing new about it, except the first eight letters”, Wuol told the SSNA.

“In the political dictionary of South Sudan’s government, any critical observation of government's policies, actions, or the current conflict is defined as an anti-government stance; it is as simple as that”, he added.

Wuol, who is the current editor-in-chief of the US-based news agency, the South Sudan News Agency, has never worked for the government of South Sudan. The news of his alleged removal from the China-based oil giant, GPOC, sparked heated debates among South Sudanese and raise questions whether or not “ghost employees” exist on government payroll schemes.

Petition and Media Advisory: Over 30 Organizations call for Arms Embargo on South Sudan

3 September, 2014

September 3, 2014 (SSNA) -- More than 30 South Sudanese and international organizations have signed a petition that will be delivered to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today, calling for an immediate, comprehensive arms embargo on South Sudan.

The petition argues that an arms embargo is urgently needed to halt the supply of weapons to individuals and groups on all sides who have committed gross violations of human rights, war crimes and crimes against humanity and to protect civilians at grave risk.

Since the conflict erupted on 15 December, parties involved have used a range of conventional arms and military equipment to facilitate and commit acts such as extrajudicial killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence and the recruitment of child soldiers.

As well as imposing its own arms embargo, the organizations are calling on IGAD to request that the United Nations Security Council imposes a comprehensive international arms embargo on South Sudan.

The urgency of the arms embargo is underlined by events of the past month: a UN helicopter has been shot down, killings continue, including of humanitarian workers, and attempts to ensure both sides stop killing civilians have failed

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Stefan Simanowitz on +44 (0)207 413 5729 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or +44 20 7413 5566 email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

See our Q&A on the need for an arms embargo. South Sudan: Awash with arms http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/qa-south-sudan-nation-awash-arms-2014-08-21

Organizations that have signed the petition include:

1. African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies
2. Amnesty International
3. Assistance Missions for Africa
4. Association of Media Women in South Sudan
5. Charity Aid Foundation
6. Citizens for Peace and Justice
7. Clip-Poverty
8.Cordaid
9. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization
10. East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project
11. End Impunity Organization
12. Equatoria Rehabilitation and Development Association
13. Global Witness
14. Human Rights Development Organization-South Sudan
15. Human Rights Watch
16. Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust
17. International Centre for Policy and Conflict
18. Juba Civic Engagement Centre
19. Justice Africa
20. Organization for Non-violence and Development
21. PAX
22. Rally for Peace and Democracy
23. Save the Children
24. South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms
25. South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy
26. South Sudan Law Society
27. Soweto Community Based Organization
28. Seed for Democracy for South Sudan
29. Standard Action Liaison Focus
30. Support Peace Initiative Development Organization-South Sudan
31. The ROOTS Project
32. Voice for Nyala
33. Waging Peace

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