In living Memory of Gen. George Athor Deng, an Outstanding SPLM/SPLA Commander

Posted: June 14, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in History, Junub Sudan, People

Biography of Gen. George Athor Deng, former SPLA Deputy Chief of staff in Juba and an Accomplished and highly Decorated former Commander of the SPLM/SPLA

Friday, June 14, 2019 (PW) — George Athor Deng, was born in (1962) in Wunlang, Atar upper Nile. He attended Adong primary school (1970-1976), Malakal junior school (1977-1979), and Kassala secondary school (1980-1982) he successful passed his Sudan school certificate examination and gained a place at the University of Cairo,s Khartoum branch (1982-1983).

However, as a political activist in Khartoum, in June 1983, George Athor abandoned his University studies and joined the SPLM/A rebellion of South Sudan. He received his military training in Bonga and was commissioned as a Lance corporal in the SPLA Jamus battalion in 1983.

In January 1984, in recognition of his educational attainment and performance in the field, George Athor was promoted to first Lieutenant in the SPLA and took part in the attack on Jekou. He also fought Anya nya ll forces in Abuteng. Lt. Gen George Athor then commanded Sobat battalion.

He soon shifted to command Abushok battalion, George Athor led his forces from the front and hence he was wounded in May 1987 at Nyaliklik. He was promoted to the rank of captain and command Mazulum battalion (1987-1989). SPLA forces under his command took part in the BSC I’s Northern sector. He was one of the SPLA officers who successfully resisted/contained the Nasir coup of August 1991, in which three senior SPLA commanders, including his direct commander, broke away from the movement.

In April 1992, with a small force he managed to dislodge SPLA (Nasir) from Baliet. His military success in the area provided for an SPLM (mainstream) presence in the area. Consequently, he was wounded fighting the breakaway SPLA forces at Thep Ngol in 1993. He continued to resist the Nasir forces until 1996, when he was transferred to Equatoria as the commander of Shondok battalion.

Shondok battalion attempted to capture Yei and Lainya in 1996, Cdr George Athor was subsequently transferred to Panaru in Unity state, where he engaged the SAF and successfully disrupted the oil exploitation drilling in Panthou (Higlig) as one of the most successful SPLA commanders, he was later transferred to first front (Upper Nile) as division commander. Cdr George Athor served in Upper Nile for two years from (2003-2005).

After the CPA he was appointed as Maj. Gen in the SPLA and confirmed as Jamus Division overall commander (2005-2007). Later on he was director for administration at SPLA GHQs Bilpam (2007-2008), with his distinguished experience in the SPLA, the first vice president of the Republic, president of GOSS, and commander in chief of the SPLA promoted George Athor to lieutenant Gen in the SPLA and appointed him as deputy Chief of staff for political and moral orientation (2008-2010).

however, Gen George Athor resigned his senior position in the SPLA and unsuccessfully contested for the governorship of Jonglei in April 2010, after the election, in the bush he founded his South Sudanese Democratic movement (SSDM), the SSDM forces established the countryside in Jonglei in 2010. Although he reached a ceasefire agreement with the GOSS for the peaceful conduct of the referendum in January 2011, serious hostilities resumed between his forces and the SPLA thereafter, he later reached a truce with the government in November 2011.

However, Gen. George Athor was reportedly killed in a clashed with the SPLA forces in Morobo on the Ugandan-South Sudanese border in December 19, 2012. Some other reports have it that he was tricked go to Kampala for secret peace talks and was then killed in cold blood and his body was then taken to Morobo from which it was reported that he was killed in a fierce gun fight.

For the record, he was traveling with only one body guard from Kenya to Kampala and only two bodies were recovered from the scene.

Gen. George Athor didn’t have any forces in the Equatoria region. What is clear was that President Kiir was keen and did try to make peace with Athor, including meeting him in person in Kenya. However, some leaders in Juba conspired with Kampala to have Athor tricked and killed in cold blood while on a peace mission to Kampala. Like Samuel Ghai Tut, he was tricked and killed in the name of peace.

His full name is George Athor Deng Dut.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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