15th December 2019
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I’ll remain a humble and loyal citizen, Buay tells Kiir

Author: Ayuen Panchol | Published: 2 weeks ago

Maj.-Gen. Stephen Buay addresses members of his unit at military base | File photo

Stephen Buay has written an open letter to President Salva Kiir, saying he will remain a “humble and loyal citizen”.

A former military general, Buay was “disgracefully” cashiered in a ceremony held at the army headquarters in Juba on Monday. This came after he was convicted recently.

In August following months of mock trial a military court found him guilty as charged, and stripped of ranks and dismissed him from the army and sentenced him to a year in jail.

This was protested by his lawyer Philip Anyang, who also appealed to President Salva Kiir to finalize the case – citing a deteriorating health condition for his client.

As a result, the Office of the President confirmed the verdict in a letter dated 14 November 2019. It ordered for his release.

“Mr. President, though demoted and dismissed from the SSPDF service, still I will remain a humble and loyal citizen to your kind leadership and be able to serve our nation in other fields rather than the army,” Buay wrote on Thursday.

Buay was captured by Special Forces commanded by Gen. Mathew Puljang in Mayom, in May 2018 after a “misunderstanding”. He was later airlifted to Juba, in chains and shackles.

The man was later accused of disobedience of lawful orders and violation of standing orders according articles 61, 67, and 69 of the SPLA act 2009 – all of which he denied, arguing that his arrest and detention was politically motivated.

Buay, who had held various military positions, was the commander of the SSPDF 5th Infantry Division based in Wau by the time his troubles began.

“I would like to thank all the SPDF forces, especially, the men and women in uniform in the units that I was commanding for their gallantry in defending the nation,” he continued.

He told the court earlier that the charges were manufactured by military and community leaders who allegedly have personal problems with him dating back to the 1990s.

These, he said, include the incumbent chief of defense forces and military and political leaders from his community, notably Tut Gatluak, presidential advisor on security affairs.

Buay’s associates and those who have worked with him in the army describe him as a humble man and remember him as a good soldier.

 

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