By Lucy Ayak

Nairobi, Kenya

For a woman used to living a simple private life, the situation of the past few months has really pushed me into a position where I have been confronted by very powerful people who operated in my husband’s world. When my husband was released last week, I hoped to get back to my quiet life with my family, but once again I find myself being forced to issue a public statement. First, I was compelled to write a public appeal to the President to plead for my husband’s release, an appeal that shed light into the secrecy of my husband’s house arrest, initially prompting denials from people within government, until it became undeniable. Upon realizing that it was in the open, they resorted to escalating the situation, to the extent of deploying troops to surround our home, hoping to provoke my husband into a fight, so they can kill him. Thank God Gen. Malong saw through their evil plots and remained calm. Much as I had initially lost hope in the President for letting those around him drive the situation to that extent, that was out of a wife’s desperation. I now wish to especially extend my sincere gratitude to Your Excellency for seeing the truth and standing up to the haters of peace when you successfully deescalated the situation through your directive to the Committee of the Concerned Citizens for Peace.

Thank you sir for prevailing over those war mongers who will do anything and everything to elevate themselves, even to the detriment of other people’s lives. As I had earlier stated, my husband needed to get out of the country to seek medical attention, and i can report to you Sir, and the country at large, that Gen. Malong is in Nairobi with his doctors attending to him. However, I wish to bring to your attention the continued plots by people who will not rest until they see your plan for peace fail. After failing to deceive you into ordering an attack on your comrade Gen. Malong, and seeing that your wisdom prevailed over their treacherous actions, they have now resorted to concocting blatant lies about my husband, seeking to convince the world that my husband has sinister plots against the government. Yesterday, an article attributed to nobody in particular, was published in the Sudan Tribune, alleging that my husband tried to acquire a Sudan visa at the Sudan embassy in Nairobi with the intention of traveling to Khartoum, allegedly to convene a “meeting”, that upon being denied a visa, he communicated to the organizers of the meeting to “go ahead with the meeting” but that they conveniently insisted that he be there, since “he was the one to chair the meeting”. This morning, the Sudan embassy in Nairobi denied having received any visa request from Gen. Malong.

The article goes ahead to allege that my husband intends to conspire to overthrow the government. The article is however lacking in factual basis, to the extent that it exposes its authors for the senseless conspirators that they are. They attribute their plots to “someone close to the family”, but cowardly, they do not try to offer any facts or evidence whatsoever to back their plots up. These detractors, Mr. President are people who have profited on the blood of our people through this senseless war, they are war mongers who will do and say anything to defeat your effort towards peace. They will do or say anything to create imaginary enemies for you, with the hope that you will rely on them. They see Gen. Malong as a threat, not to you sir, but to their greed. Gen. Malong appreciates your sincere comradeship and appreciates a chance you afforded him for his freedom.

However, now that he is free, these enemies of peace will do and say anything to tarnish his name, to portray him as a traitor to our country. They have now figured that they cannot measure up to the achievements that you and Gen. Malong have had together, and they now seek to sever any relationship that you have proven to still have with him. They will even go as far as coercing the media into participating in their evil maneuvers. Barely 12 hours after the article was published, the “publisher” came out with a statement clarifying the circumstances under which the article was published. He clearly stated that he was paid and coerced to publish the article that was “ghost authored” by those war mongers. He retracted his involvement and apologized to Gen. Malong and his family. I would go as far as to advise him to especially apologize to the President, and the country at large, for letting himself be used in attempts to deceive the President.

As I write this, Gen. Malong is at home with his family here in Nairobi, being closely monitored by his doctors. Anyone who wishes to get him can simply reach him at our residence here. But for the desperate war mongers, even such a basic fact will allude their minds out of their desperation. Am grateful, as is my husband, to the President for seeing through the lies that were constantly uttered about my husband and am sure he will again see through the desperate attempts to portray Gen. Malong as a traitor to our country, a country that he has given everything to protect. I also once again thank the elders and the church through their Committee of the Concerned Citizens for Peace for supporting the president in his bid to bring peace back to our torn country. To the management of the Sudan Tribune, I put it to you that having participated in mongering slanderous lies about my husband, though you were coerced, you now awe us an equal platform to publish this response. But unlike the detractors who coerced and bribed you to publish their lies, mine is a humble request.

For a peaceful and prosperous South Sudan!!

The writer is a wife of Gen. Paul Malong Awan