About 10,000 SPLA-IO fighters have defected to President Kiir’s faction in Tur-Abiedh area in the north of South Sudan’s Unity State, a senior official said.
Lam Tungwar, Information Minister in the proposed Northern Liech State, told Radio Tamazuj that the defected opposition soldiers are currently in Tor-Abiedh, about 70 kilometres away from Rubkona County.
However, the state official said that some pockets of opposition forces are still supporting Riek Machar in Guit County and other areas in the north of Unity State near the Sudanese territory. He added that a group of 400 fighters stationed in an island near Rubkona area is still loyal to Riek Machar.
Tungwar revealed that the defected forces are in contact with the state government to coordinate the process of joining the peace agreement.
Meanwhile, Diu Chuol, chairperson of the Nuer community inside the UN camp, urged local youth not to join the newly appointed First Vice President Taban Deng Gai.
Northern Liech gets new counties
Separately, the governor of Northern Liech State Joseph Monytuil issued an order establishing 11 new counties in the state.
Northern Liech is one of the states which came into existence after President Salva Kiir issued a controversial ‘Establishment Order’ in October 2015 to divide up South Sudan and create 28 states.