South Sudan

Machar chief bodyguard killed in Kiir’s palace


The late Deng


One of the senior members in the protection unit guarding South Sudan vice president was killed in J1 presidential palace.

With three stars, Gatluak Thian Deng was killed during J1 fighting that erupted on July 14, 2016 in the capital Juba.

Born in Meshra` Bentiu, Al Waḩdah, Sudan, Deng went to Omaha Bryan High School.

He studied Criminal Justice at Fayetteville State University and AA Criminal Justice at Iowa Western Community College.

An officer of three-star rank is a very senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-8.

Typically, three-star officers hold the rank of vice admiral, lieutenant general, or in the case of those air forces with a separate rank structure, air marshal.

The three stars make Deng a Captain as per South Sudan ranking.

Deng was one of Riek Machar’s highly trained protection unit composed of elite bodyguards.

Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak confirmed the development but clarified that Deng was not head of bodyguards.

“He was one of the bodyguards.”

During the same incident, according to SPLA military intelligence, most of Machar’s bodyguards were wiped out by heavy artillery used by government troops.


The First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar went into hiding at the residence of France ambassador in Gudelle West of Juba city after his home was too bombed by SPLA airforce.

He later moved his troops out of Jebel area in the capital and stationed them outside.

Both President Salva Kiir and Machar have since ordered a ceasefire although the situation remains volatile.

While meeting the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Kigali yesterday, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni suggested a regional force to protect Machar as fighting ceases in the capital.

He also rejected that UN proposal of an arms embargo on South Sudan saying it would hinder the growth of local military.

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