By Atimaku Joan
The Defense Command yesterday dismissed as unfounded rumours and propaganda reports circulating alleging that two battalions of the South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) had threatened to desert their positions over mistreatment and lack of salary payments.
Army Spokesperson Maj. Gen. Lul Rui Kong said “These are mere propaganda designed to cause discontents in the army foldup,” said Lul.
“SSPDF is intact despite the few challenges we are facing not only as the army but also as a country,” he added.
He stated that the forces were still in the cantonment sites across the country awaiting further orders and had not deserted as being alleged.
Dismissing the allegation, he revealed that the armed forces had received their salaries and that there were plans on the ground to deliver food ratios to their sites.
Unconfirmed reports circulated three days ago through some media outlets claiming the source to be the National Salvation Front (NAS) stated that two South Sudan army battalions in Central Equatoria State had deserted their bases in different areas after salary delay leading to hunger and diseases.
In the statement, the group led by the General Thomas Cirilo Swaka a former South Sudan Deputy Army Chief. Claimed that they had discovered that the largest desertion through the Military Intelligence Service of NAS.
“The Leadership of NAS would like to inform its members, the people of South Sudan and the member of international community about the recent development of the desertion of the SSPDF and their allied militia from the duty locations,” reads the NAS statement.
It also indicates that the bases where the desertion took place included Lobonok, Lainya, Yei, Mundiri, Movolo and Yambio.