JUBA, 4 May 2021 – Military officials in South Sudan on Tuesday downplayed the defection Monday of a former army commander to an armed opposition group.

General Stephen Buay Rolnyang announced Monday that he was defecting to join General Paul Malong’s South Sudan United Front.

General Santo Domic Chol - Photo Arise News

Army Spokesperson, General Santo Domic Chol – Photo Arise News

Pope Francis Has Invested in Peace in South Sudan - Photo Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis, Investing in Peace – Photo Catholic News Agency

The decision came more than a year since the discharged Gen. Buay was released from jail and dismissed from the army.

“I  don’t think the defection of General Stephen Buay Rolnyang has any impact on the implementation of the security arrangement,” said General Santo Domic Chol, the acting army spokesperson.

He added: his defection is “an individual decision which will not have any negative impact on the peace deal”.

General Stephen Buay Rolnyang Training Army Recruits - Photo Eye Radio

Discharged General Stephen Buay Rolnyang Training Army Recruits – Photo Eye Radio

Discharged General Stephen Buay Rolnyang had been charged, tried, and found guilty in February 2019 of treason reportedly on grounds that he plotted a rebellion against President Salva Kiir’s government.

The dismissed general was also charged with defying military orders allegedly refusing to surrender and report to the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces headquarters in Juba before his arrest.

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