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South Sudan president and former army chief "reconciled"

May 18, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir has “reconciled” with former chief of army General, Paul Malong Awan.

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S Sudan’s President Salva Kiir is received by former Chief of General Staff of the SPLA Paul Malong Awan at the airport in Juba March 6, 2015 (Reuters)

The presidential spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny described Thursday’s meeting between Awan and the president as “cordial and friendly."

"I can now report to the South Sudanese that President Salva Kiir Mayardit and former chief of staff General Paul Malong Awan have reconciled. They reflected on their long comradeship, friendship dating back to the time of war of liberation and small differences were easily resolved," Ateny told reporters in the capital, Juba.

The meeting was the first encounter between the two ever since Awan was sacked from the army after about four years in charge.

Kiir replaced Awan with General James Ajongo Mawut, who has been described my many as a moderate veteran military officer.

Despite his removal, however, the former South Sudanese army chief is credited for helping the national army win several battles against the armed opposition faction loyal to ex-Vice President Riek Machar.

Not much was divulged on the outcome of Thursday’s meeting between the South Sudanese leader and his former army chief.

(ST)