December 18, 2016 (JUBA)- The South Sudanese army (SPLA) chief of staff, General Paul Malong Awan has downplayed fears of impending genocide, describing it a work of anti-peace elements.
- President Salva Kiir, (L), accompanied by army chief of staff Paul Malong Awan, (R), waves during an independence day ceremony in the capital Juba, on July 9, 2015 (Photo AP)
He said this on Friday during a military function where several military officers, who underwent training, were passed at the general headquarters in Juba.
“We are all Equal people in South Sudan, and there is nobody who is superior to others in South Sudan, we should not do things based on tribal basis, because anybody can be a leader of this country”, he said, adding that the country belongs to all the 64 tribes of South Sudan.
He cited General Joseph Lagu and Genral Gismalla Abdalla Rasas as some of the leaders who served because of the leadership abilities, but not their tribal affiliations.
The general also stressed the need to respect rules and laws of the country.
“We as South Sudanese should respect the rule of law and work for the future generation; our times have or will soon come for us to leave the power to you. You the graduates of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, so you must show good example to the people of South Sudan by doing the right things all the time regardless of where you are coming from”, he explained.
Last month, the United Nations special advisor on genocide, Adama Dieng warned that the South Sudan violence risks spiraling into genocide, urging the world body and the international community investigate grave human rights abuses in the nation.
South Sudan has been riven by ethnic violence since the eruption of armed conflict between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and forces supporting Riek Machar in December 2013 .
A peace agreement was signed in August 2015, but violence has resumed in different parts of the country since July 2016. Tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced.