The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has this morning held a press conference to “clear the dust” between himself and the former Chief of Staff, General Paul Malong. General Paul Malong, who was dismissed through Presidential Decree number 76/2017, left Juba for Aweil, his hometown without handing over to the newly appointed Chief of General Staff, General James Ajonga Mawut causing concern about his motives.
The President revealed that he has been in consultation with General Malong since his departure from Juba. He stated that when he spoke with Malong, he told him that he was mistaken to leave the capital without a formal handover.
“Malong you did a mistake. First, you should have called me to thank me for the period of your service. Second, you should have called General James Ajonga to congratulate him,” said President Kiir.
The President stated that he has nothing particular against Malong and the reshuffle was routine within the army. To explain further the President listed the former Chief of Staff who served before him, President Kiir being the second in the line after Commander William Nyuon rebelled in 1992.
The recent changes have made everyone apprehensive. The President lamented about the rumours circulating on social media of an armed confrontation between himself and General Malong. The rumour was dispelled on Wednesday when Malong told the media that he had “I have never rebelled.”
The President had urged General Malong to return to Juba to discuss the handover. General Malong was expected to arrive in Juba yesterday but it failed to materialise. The Presidential Spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny, had revealed that Malong was seeking security guarantees for himself and the guards who travelled with him to Yirol.
The President reiterated that he has no problems with General Paul Malong and stated that this morning Community elder from Yirol, Aweil and Gogrial mobilized themselves and arranged to meet with General Malong to pass across his message.
“Nobody wants Malong to run into unplanned problems,” added President Kiir.
At the Press conference, President Kiir told the Media that he had already given the security guarantees for both General Malong and his Guards. The President revealed that General Malong was in a bad mood when he last spoke with him and had this morning tried to contact him this morning only to find him resting.
The President reassured the public that the security situation remains normal and urged them to proceed with their daily routines. President Kiir stated that he is expecting General Paul Malong to return to Juba.
“He is expected in Juba today if he accepts to be flown in,” said President Kiir.
President Kiir stated that he is still communicating and assures General Paul Malong’s safety when he arrives. He stated that the Security organs have been ordered to keep Malong and his guards safe.
“Personally, I am in communication with the Former Chief of Staff, General Paul Malong Awan and I have assured him of his safety. All relevant Security agents have been directed to carry out the necessary protocols to ensure his safe return to Juba,” said President Kiir.
Via National Courier