Home | News    Friday 17 November 2017

South Sudan president and ex-military chief reconcile


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.


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.


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  • 17 November 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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.

      repondre message

  • 17 November 2017 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 2017 10:09, by Kush Natives

      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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 07:00, by Majesty

      I mean we thank our elders...

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      • 17 November 2017 08:59, by jubaone

        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.

        repondre message

        • 17 November 2017 13:07, by Majesty

          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.

          repondre message

  • 17 November 2017 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...

    repondre message

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