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JUBA - 27 Apr 2020

Special Forces commander Puljang 'relieved of command'

Major General Mathew Puljang (File photo)
Major General Mathew Puljang (File photo)

The commander of the Special Forces in Unity State, Maj. Gen. Mathew Puljang, has been relieved of his command by the military chief.

A letter from Chief of Defense Forces Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak issued on Friday says Major General Mathew Puljang should report to the military headquarters in Juba for deployment.

The commander of the army’s Division Four is now the commander of the Special Forces in Unity State.

The letter explained that the Special Forces under the command of Major General Mathew Puljang are part of the army’s Division Four in Unity State.

Army spokesman Major General Lul Ruai told Radio Tamazuj on Monday that the decision to relieve Puljang from his command was not associated with recent misunderstandings between some military officers under his command.

Lul has downplayed as “normal” the deployment of senior army generals by the army chief.

For his part, Maj. Gen. Mathew Puljang welcomed his relieve as commander of the Special Forces. “I don’t have any reservations and I welcome the decision,” Puljang said.

According to Puljang, the decision was based on his request.

“I want to refute rumors circulating on social media saying that I refused to report to the military headquarters. Changes and reassignment are normal in the army,” he concluded.

Although Mathew Puljang fought against the South Sudanese government after independence in 2011, he was among a group of SSLM/A forces who accepted an amnesty offer by the president in 2013, agreeing to a plan to reintegrate into the army.