Part 2 of the field dispatch series from South Sudan’s Unity state by Enough researcher Mayank Bubna was published today. While Part 1 dealt with ongoing tensions with the Misseriya militias in Unity, the second segment describes an individual – and his unknown number of loyalists – who may once again threaten stability in the state: renegade SPLA officer Gatluak Gai.
Gai, a southern Sudanese dissident, appeared on the government’s radar in May 2010 when he attacked a SPLA camp in Unity state’s Abiemnom county. Many believe that this aggression was triggered by the re-election of Governor Taban to the state’s most important post and Gai’s belief that the polling was rigged. Although the former officer was offered amnesty by Vice President Salva Kiir in September 2010, he reportedly has not accepted it. Currently residing in Khartoum, he allegedly controls his men via remote communication though no attacks by Gai or his men have been confirmed since June of last year. It is unclear how large his group of armed men might be, or from where they draw their arms. Most agree however, that Gai continues to pose a serious threat to sustainable peace in Unity state.
Click here to read more about Gatluak Gai and about why Unity state is a strategic area worth watching during the post-referendum period in Sudan.