South Sudan Wants IGAD To Deny Malong Role In Peace Talks

South Sudan has said the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and international community should deny former army chief, General Paul Malong Awan a role in the opposition following his declaration of a rebellion movement.

 South Sudan Wants IGAD To Deny Malong Role In Peace Talks
Presidential Press Secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny [Gurtong file photo]

By Ojwe Lumara

JUBA April 12, 2018 [Gurtong]-There are currently nine opposition groups which in February this year formed the Opposition Alliance alongside the main opposition group the SPLM IO to negotiate with the government in the IGAD-led High Level Revitalization Forum in Addis Ababa.

Malong has expressed his intention to join the Opposition Alliance participating in the peace talks.

“We wish to further state our intention to participate in the Revitalization Forum scheduled to commence on 26th April 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We will equally be appending our signature to the addendum to the Cessation of Hostilities already signed by the other parties,” Malong said in the statement.

The Presidential Press Secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny said the former army chief should be denied a role in the opposition since he had until May 9th 2017 served and witnessed the crisis as a strong member of president Kiir’s administration.

“He was also a personal friend of president Kiir, something the whole world identified the president for being very close to Malong,” Ateny said.

According to Ateny, the Americans had sanctioned Malong for being the most “corrupt and the breeder of impunity.”

“Many examples proved the point, as chief of general staff of the SPLA for three years, general Malong in an attempt to conceal impunity squandered millions of dollars in disguise for security operations. Banks were opened at night for Malong to take money at will which in turn polarized the government in the face of the international community while the political crisis rages on,” Ateny revealed.

The office of the president urged South Sudanese to continue supporting and cooperating with the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) in its endeavor to return the country to normalcy.

Mr. Ateny also appealed to the international community and East African Community to deny general Malong any role in opposition “when the same Malong was part and parcel of political crisis as member of government since 2013.”

Mr. Ateny said the office of the president rejected all the allegations leveled against the president “by a war monger and therefore would like to appeal to the general public to ignore the call of general Malong for mass rebellion against the government.

He said as the TGoNU prepares for the next phase of the HLRF, the people’s expectation is to see peace coming back to South Sudan and that any news of rebellion is an attempt to slow down the resolve to peaceful solution to the conflict in the republic of South Sudan.

However, Mr. Ateny acknowledged that it is the responsibility of IGAD to determine whether Malong qualifies to be an opposition given that he had served the government till may 9th 2017 as the county’s army general chief of staff.

“He (Malong) cannot do both- wage war and want to join the High Level Revitalization Forum,” he stated.


 

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