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South Sudan president and ex-military chief reconcile

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November 16, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Thursday announced the official release from house arrest of General Paul Malong Awan, the country’s former chief of staff, who had been confined in his home since he was sacked in May this year.

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Former South Sudan army chief of staff, General Paul Malong Awan speaks at the presidential palace in Juba, November 16, 2017 (ST)

The move ends weeks of tension and standoff between government and Awan after its attempts to disarm the latter’s guards failed.

Speaking at an occasion he organized for elders and church leaders who mediated between the Juba government and Awan, Kiir said it was time to open a new page in relations with the former army chief.

According to the South Sudanese leader, there were no “ill motives” when he directed the reduction of Awan’s guards, insisting he acted in his capacity as overall commander of the forces in compliance and in accordance with rules and regulations governing the army.

The former army chief, on his part, pledged his readiness to work with the president and open a new page in the relations to consolidate peace, reconciliation, unity, harmony and peaceful coexistence.

Awan said he would be the last to turn against the country and its people, while appreciating the elders’ role in defusing the tension.

He, however, stressed the need to end the civil war in the country.

Cleric and elders, who mediated in the reconciliation efforts, also issued a statement in which they welcomed the president’s decision to release the former chief of staff and for accepting to put aside any differences and tensions generated by the order and rejection.

"In our quest for finding other alternatives to addressing this, we were relieved to learn that both his Excellency president Salva Kiir Mayardit and Gen Paul Malong Awan were committed to peace and neither of them was interested in plunging the country into unnecessary war,” partly reads the statement released on Thursday.

It further stressed, “Today, our efforts culminated in bringing his Excellency President Kiir and Gen Paul Malong together as the two agreed to put any differences aside and reconcile for the sake of stability, peace and unity”.

One of the elders told Sudan Tribune that the former army chief had “demonstrated leadership, patriotism and clear intention” not to take the East African country back to war even though he felt embarrassed.

“Malong told us that his personal problem was now resolved but asked about the current situation in the country", the elder, who was part of the negotiations that saw Awan released, further stated.

Awan’s wife, Lucy Ayak, also welcomed the former’s release and apologized for any offense the family could have committed in the course of soliciting for attention on the detention the ex-army chief.

"I read with great joy and extreme relief of the directive issued by the Head of State of South Sudan H.E. Salva Kiir, for the official release of my husband Gen. Paul Malong from detention. After escalation of the situation over the past week or so, I was lost in thought as to what to expect. As a wife, it’s a nightmare not be sure whether your husband would be alive or dead the next hour. But I thank the almighty God that the situation has been resolved and my husband has at long last been granted his freedom, wrote Ayak in response to the announcement of the release of her husband on Thursday.

She thanked the elders and church leaders for the role they played in efforts that culminated into the release of the former army chief.

“Thank you for your foresight and love for our country that enabled you to transcend individual interests and see to the truth. I also thank all our friends both within South Sudan and Abroad for continuously standing with us, when it was easier to abandon us. That solidarity will forever remain in me and my husband’s hearts", further wrote Ayak.

EX-ARMY CHIEF NOT DISARMED

Meanwhile it emerged that guards of the former chief of staff were not disarmed as directed by President Kiir’s order because soldiers sent to him to implement the order did not comply, rendering it ineffective despite continuing to receive directives to swiftly act.

A high-level military officer told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that soldiers who were deployed around the residence of General Awan with directives to implement orders failed to comply with it.

"The orders could not be implemented because the soldiers were reluctant. There are several reasons. One of the reasons is that they themselves said it openly that they were not ready to open fire on Gen Paul Malong and to cause among themselves and the civilians,” the military officer, who requested anonymity, disclosed.

He further explained, “The other reason is that Gen Malong himself used the deployment as an opportunity to court new relations with the soldiers and strengthened ties with those he already knew. He [Awan] was feeding them [soldiers deployed] and giving [them] money. For the days the soldiers were deployed around his residence, they were feeding him with any bit of information and moves, which the government and the army were taking”.

Theses relations, the source stressed, emboldened Awan that the president and the command of the army had to accept negotiations they initially rejected to pursue with the ex-army chief.

(ST)

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  • 17 November 06:13, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    And so Malong’s Ayak knows the might of almighty God when it comes to the release of her husband from detention but does not know God when it comes to the butchering of South Sudanese by the same person whom she adores as her husband. The good thing is that she now knows how many people are going through under their brutal rule.

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  • 17 November 06:18, by Kat Cok

    jur_likang, if you are a gay tell the public, how comes to tell the one who fucked you all at that time a wife of the president Silva Kiir.
    Respect yourself and shut up.

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    • 17 November 06:33, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      Kat Cot

      What do you know ya haiwan inta? You should know that those who hunt for buffaloes, Rhinos and Hippos in the wild that is infested with Leopads Lions and Cheetahs are smarter and wise more than you animals who follow animals(cows); and we have no room for homosexuality.

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    • 17 November 08:55, by jubaone

      Kat Cok,
      Here again comes the jienge vulgarism and savagery. Tame your emotions you jienge. I think your jienge uncles will guide you in mildly articulating yourself. Had they used this primitive attitude, the fugitive Malong could still be under house arrest.

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  • 17 November 06:30, by deng

    I am really appreciate the role played by Clerics and elders and the soldiers who refused to open fire against Malong, yes they were the one to die not their leaders, bravo, don’t fight for others to be in power fight only for the country as soldiers, let politicians fight alone to stick or boxing. their children are abroad in good schools and your children are dying of hunger and diseases

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    • 17 November 10:09, by Kush Natives

      deng,
      I totally agreed with you man on this point! As we’re speaking, non of those soldiers who were ordered to kill Paul Malong would have been alive today. For them thought twice about their own families, that’s why they’re alive. We all should lives by an example now on, those who lost their love’s one at the current conflict are now left on the streets of South Sudan without cares.

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      • 17 November 10:16, by Kush Natives

        Well, thank God that South Sudanese politicians and arms forces of South Sudan are getting out of their control. Thanks for church and lovely elders for bringing it into an END. May almighty father bless South Sudan and her people! I hope rebels elements would come back home as well, because their hope and wishful thinking isn’t fulfilled.

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  • 17 November 06:55, by Majesty

    We our elders for invention, Gen was never a threat to the state, to anyone in the first place despite lying and lying by by warmongers around Kiir. Still Gen. Malong emerged even stronger, with many South Sudanese and Supporterst taking side on his behalf.

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    • 17 November 07:00, by Majesty

      I mean we thank our elders...

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      • 17 November 08:59, by jubaone

        Majesty,
        So I urge Malong and other Jienges to start getting back to their luaks and do something worthwhile instead of idling and squatting in Equatoria. We don’t need them bcoz they are of no use to us except bringing in rapists, bandits and beggars.

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        • 17 November 13:07, by Majesty

          Jubaone,
          We must respect each other’s tribe, our people. Whatever are your grievances, you should direct it to government, not on Dinka. Dinka is over 4 millions, these are a lot of people not to respect. I’m here in Gore, Bari, Dinka, Nuer are living as one people.

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  • 17 November 07:41, by DO IT

    Hopefully those idiots Nuer and Equatorians with JCE would open their blinds eyes when seeing Dinka reconcile themselves for the sake of tribe.

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    • 17 November 09:04, by jubaone

      Do It,
      Jienges reconciled not bcoz it was necessary but bcoz of fear that once they start an intra-jienge fratricide, they are done. That simple. Malong is outgunned, outnumbered and just can’t sustain a Jienge rebellion. He doesn’t have the guts anymore. He has take care of his 50 wives, loot 💰 and ailing health.

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      • 17 November 12:39, by Khent

        jubaone

        I doubt that a Dinka civil war would be significant enough to militarily benefit anyone to render them "done". This hypothetical Dinka war would end very quickly because Salva Kiir would only have the backing of Gogrial against twenty-four [24] other Dinka sections. Salva Kiir has saved his life and his government of thieves and murderers by not harming Malong.

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        • 17 November 15:18, by jubaone

          Khent,
          That is an entriely new insight into what would likley be an intra-jienge confrontation. I guess, it is not necessarily about the large numbers that you alluded, but about resolve to die for real fundamental and contentious issues. Huge armies may simply dissipate in a battle, if not fully convinced why they are fighting in the first place.

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      • 17 November 18:44, by Dinka-Defender-General

        Jubaone, just shut up and drink, eat your proteins such as monkeys, rats, and other insects that you eat in Equatoria. We don’t need your opinion on Jungle reconciliation. We, the Jungle solve our differences period. Do you want to borrow 10 of my cows and you can return them in 10 years with profits? Can you handle that instead of drinking, eating, sleeping, and laying on the couch talking nonsense

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        • 17 November 20:08, by jubaone

          Jienge Defeated General,
          Hopeless MTN, perhaps this explains the reason why you jienge scoundrels have literally migrated to Equatoria in search for food. When hunger pushes you to the point of thuggery and robbery, eating monkey 🐵 meat becomes a life saving option. This is saving your jienge relatives here in Juba instead of starving, ya jienge

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        • 17 November 20:14, by jubaone

          Jienge Defeated General,
          Jienges like you must be real idiots. You have cows yet you can’t sell some to buy food. Rather you go stealing and looting other people. Just congenital thieves and lazy idiots. We Equatorians must treat you like giant-babies that have deliberately refused to mentally grow up.

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          • 17 November 21:32, by Dinka-Defender-General

            Jubaone, you are a tribalist, separatist, visionless, missionaries, and traitor of the South Sudan. You should leave the country and find asylum somewhere so you can relax, eat, drink, and sleep since it is the best things you do in your life. Just leave us alone. We, the South Sudanese want to live together.

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    • 17 November 09:13, by Majesty

      Do it,
      Very much in general sense, but isn’t how problems solved? Wars are supposed to be the last thing. This is actually a Dinka infighting but Malong as Dinka Malual and a man who had contribune more than regime gangs combined, Salva Kiir have few choices. Yet Malong even knowing of his advantage continued demonstrating leadership, looking beyond and ask army to remain within thier units....

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      • 17 November 09:30, by Majesty

        ...and while confined continue informating army to remain within their units. If Malong can replace Kuol Manyang we will push him to challenge Kiir, of course at the ballot/vote. Yeah continue telling your people even if you have an advantage like Gen Malong, lower head and raised hand for peace make all of us even stronger. War is bad.

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        • 17 November 12:44, by Khent

          Majesty

          I can’t be bothered responding in detail to your post but I must correct you on one point:

          Malong is from Abiem not Malual.

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          • 17 November 13:56, by Majesty

            Khent,
            That’s correct & not only that Abiem and Agurpiny are the concentration, biggest in comparison to Malual. But no, these are petty that normally cause war in Bor but not in Aweil, it make no different. Through out SPLA, Dinka Aweil is simply refered as Dinka Malual. Any Dinka Aweil around would respond to you he is Dinka Malual unless he kn
            ew you.

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            • 17 November 16:43, by Khent

              Majesty

              Bor, Twic-east and Duk are not known for violence, so I’m sure where you got the idea that petty issues devolve into war with any kind of frequency to be "normal".

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              • 17 November 20:03, by Majesty

                Khent,
                As you already mentioned let not waste time on’details’ (petty) and all I can repeat Dinka Rek, Aweil, Malual Giernyang or Buoth Ayaar ...is all same.

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            • 18 November 00:20, by Kuch

              Majesty,
              What do you idiot mean when you always accused the Bor Dinka to be the warmongers or the people who always caused wars? Give an evidence of the wars that have ever been caused by the Bor Dinka? Any-anya one was started in our former Equatoria in 1947 & 1955 in Torit in our former Eastern Equatoria. But the whole Dinka/Monjang community joined the Anya-anya one in big numbers than>>>

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              • 18 November 06:20, by Majesty

                Kuch,
                You are not responding to this post but again, I have nothing less than great respect for Bor people. This can’t take away as also home of big mouths, troublemakers and warmongers. Since 1980s almost every trouble resulting in Dinka bloodshed came either Bor or Gogrial. :...

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                • 18 November 06:43, by Majesty

                  - Akuot Atem
                  - Arok Thon Vs BGls/kwanyin Bol
                  - Garang Vs Riek
                  - Kuol Manyang Vs Nyuon Bany
                  - Kuol Manyang Vs George Athor
                  - Bor Vs Mandari,Murle, and Nuer
                  - Bor cattle Vs Equatorian farmers.
                  We could talk one all day, and all these caused bloodshed.

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  • 17 November 08:41, by doot

    I thank this Goverment for releasing General Malong from house arrest. Malong is a man with truely good heart,a great NATIONALIST.

    Any "paid leader" know the value of Nationalism. Malong has paid too much cost for this country.
    Any "volunteer leader" know the value of Donation.He donates much of his...

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