South Sudan’s rebel leader George Athor

South Sudan’s rebel leader George Athor

December 20, 2011 (JUBA) The South Sudanese rebel leader and renegade general, George Athor, has been killed, announced the country’s Vice President Riek Machar Teny in a press conference held in the capital Juba today.

Earlier in the day, Athor was reported to be under siege by South Sudan army, SPLA, in Morobo country in Central Equatoria state.

Athor has been leading a rebellion against the government of South Sudan since he defected from the SPLA in 2010 after he was announced to be the loser of gubernatorial elections in Jonglei State, where he stood as an independent candidate.

His rebellion has been one of the biggest security threats that faced South Sudan since it became an independent country this year.

Hundreds of people have been killed this year in clashes between Athor’s men and the SPLA.

Finally a relief to innocent civilians of Jonglei state and RSS. To give a devil his dues, Athor was a hero before 2010 elections, in fact he was more patriotic than most of our current leaders. He was well respected in Jonglei especially when he played a great role in clearing out Riek forces in Bor. After rebelling, he lost all this credit. There is a chance now Jonglei will find peace. It lesson to rebels that messing around with innocent people lives and property is not good because it is not long before you meet the same fate. All rebel factions should know that the second leading position has already been filled by Riek, so taking up arms against RSS will not make any politician or general a vice president or deputy chief of staff. They say pays but in Athor case impatience backfires. He might have won next election in Jonglei because people are increasingly losing confidence in Kuol. Now, not only has he failed to achieve his claimed visions but also he failed to protect his life. Now, the SPLA should attack Athor stronghold to deter any re organization of his forces. Since the amnesty is still in place, I ask RSS to give Athor family a second chance by allowing them to abandon rebellion and join their fellow citizens of South Sudan. Let his children enjoy the sacrifice (spoiled) of their father that eventually led to Independence through CPA. Greed kills. Although Riek was the first to rebel, he will always announce the death of rebel leaders. Rest in peace Athor and my condolences to his family.

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