South Sudan

Gatwech: SPLA segregates Nuer soldiers


Brig. Gen. Gabriel Gatwech Puoch Mar (Left in glasses)


Brigadier General Gabriel Gatwech Puoch last week announced his defection from the South Sudanese national army (SPLA) to the rebel movement of Dr Riek Machar.

In a shocking development, Radio Tamazuj says Gatwech defected after being passed over in a recent round of promotions.

Brig. Gatwech served previously as chief administrator for Division 5 and as a senior intelligence officer.

He is the younger brother of Upper Nile Governor Simon Kun Puoch.

He also accuses Juba of airing racist TV programmes on the state-controlled media (SSTV).

“I lost my seniority among the Brigadiers in SPLA,” he said in a statement.

He also clarified that he was “always sick with Brig. Gen. Malaak Ayuen for SPLA special programme at SSTV against the Nuer”.

He added: “I was shocked with disgraced when I saw the list of (238) Brigadiers who remained in SPLA GHQS… it was a nightmare to me when I saw the list, how could it happen I was shocked…”

Gatwech says Brig. Gen. Gordon Banak Thoan and Col. Chabak Machiek, were also left out during promotion because they were Nuers.

“The 5th Division was left out during promotion deliberately. …If officers are promoted because for the job well done, we have good two officers who fought in Bentiu tirelessly for good one year they should be rewarded for promotion.”

He further cited repeated broadcasts on SSTV featuring the army public relations official Brig. Gen. Malaak Ayuen, whom he accused of racism against his Nuer tribe.

“Who is all he times challenging the Nuer in general[?] By the way this is a very serious issue. If the regime is doing it deliberately then that is madness. If Brig. Gen. Malak Ayuen can really behave like a mad dog abusing the entire Nuer, whether they are with the regime or with the rebel, he doesn’t care.”

“… Brig. Gen. Malaak Ayuen has been given green light by ruthless regime to abuse the entire Nuer; I shall not tolerate such a regime who wants to dismantle the whole country through tribal affiliations by using authoritarian system to keep them in power.”

SPLA has so far lost Agel Riing Machar, Maj. (Rtd) Simon Awas Pidomoi, Capt. Benjamin John Baptista and Capt. Michael Thiik Ke’nyan to the opposition.

James Gatdet Dak, Machar’s spokesman says they have already received Gatwech.



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