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Malong hails U.S. call for inclusive peace process in South Sudan

Former SPLA chief of staff Paul Malong Awan (ST Photo)
July 23, 2018 (JUBA) - The former SPLA chief of staff Paul Malong Monday praised a call by the U.S. White House for an inclusive process in South Sudan and accused President Salva Kiir of excluding his group from the IGAD brokered peace process.

"The United States’ keen observation on how the matters pertaining South Sudan have been unfolding is commendable and SOUTH SUDAN UNITED FRONT/ARMY (SSUF/A) is registering her concern that Salva Kiir Mayardit has been playing a game of tricks in the name of peace," said Malong.

The former army chief of staff pointed to the efforts by President Kiir to obstruct a viable peace process saying that the IGAD ignored their demand despite being "a viable entity with huge membership, bath in her armed and civil wings".

He further pointed an accusing finger to President Kiir saying he managed to convince the mediation to exclude the SSUF/A from the peace process arguing that Malong’s didn’t mount any attack on the government forces.

"(...) the United States should note with keen interest that South Sudan headed by Salva Kiir Mayardit will never experience peace and economic development. Instead, it will remain as a stagnated country defined by suffering of all sorts ranging from curable diseases to hunger, war and massive displacement," he emphasized.

Deng Alor, former foreign minister and opposition leader recently told reporters in Khartoum that Washington which facilitates the peace process expressed reservations over Malong’s inclusion in the peace process pointing that he is on its sanctions’ list.

On 6 September 2017, Malong and two other South Sudanese government officials have been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department and decided to freeze any assets in the United States or tied to the U.S. financial system belonging to the three officials.

Also on 13 July 2018, the Security Council approved a U.S.-drafted resolution imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan and targeted sanctions several government members or former officials including Malong.

On 19 July, Malong denied committing atrocities against the Nuer ethnic group in South Sudan. He said he implemented orders by President Kiir who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the army.

(ST)