KODOK – One of the South Sudan’s fearsome warlord and veteran of numerous battles, Gen Gatwech Chan popularly known as Tang Ginye was killed today in a fierce battle with the rebels of SPLMIO near Hamra, a small village near Kodok and Kuek of Upper Nile State, according to SPLMIO.
Gen Tang, who a year ago broke away from SPLMIO due to differences with the chairman of the SPLMIO Dr. Riek Machar Teny was recently made chief of staff by Dr. Lam Akol in his newly formed National Democratic Movement (NDM), overseeing recruitment of soldiers in Upper Nile.
According to SPLMIO military officials in Kodok and Bouth, Akol’s forces attacked IO areas of in Hamra on Wednesday forcing out IO soldiers to Kuek. This morning, the IO soldiers retaliate and came with the maximum force capturing the place previously overran by the NDM and pursued them up to their headquarters in Hamra where senior soldiers like Gen Tang and Gen Okiech were based. The fighting became so fierce forcing Gen Tang and Okiech to run from the area. The IO continued with the offensive until NDM soldiers were scattered and outgunned, forcing them to run in 3 directions. Gen Tang was then killed by force of IO who were advancing from the third direction where Tanginye was heading. His two children acting as his bodyguards tried to hold on but were outnumbered and killed.
Gen Okiech in the other hand ran alone in another direction. He was reportedly wounded and running without a gun nor without bodyguards.
NDM formed earlier last year (by Dr Lam Akol, a former Minister in the transitional government and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change) want to establish bases in Upper Nile and fight the government forces there. IO have been accusing Akol of abandoning the fight against the government and instead engaging in fighting them and trying to force IO General Johnson Olony out of Malakal areas.
THE UPPER NILE TIMES