Rebel forces loyal to Gen. Paul Malong defects, joins Costello Garang

Rebel forces in an unidentified place in northern Bahr Al-Ghazal (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

October 11th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – Rebel forces loyal to the leader of the South Sudan United Front (SSUF) Gen. Paul Malong Awan said they have defected and joined the group led by Dr. Costello Garang Ring Lual.

Dr. Costello Garang Ring is the Chairman and commander in Chief of the South Sudan Patriotic Army/Movement (SSPA/SSPM) which is a member of the opposition coalition, the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) led by Changson Chang.

Few days after a group in Khartoum decided to remove Gen. Paul Malong Awan as the leader of the group, a rebel commander loyal to Malong who is also the spokesman of Malong’s forces Deng Deng Lul said they have switched side and join the former army chief turned rebel leader.

Deng Deng added that they have done so in the interest of peace in South Sudan saying Malong, who is not a signatory to the September 12 agreement, is not for peace to return to the world’s youngest nation.

Gen. Paul Malong Awan is reportedly in secret talks with President Salva Kiir Mayardiit over his possible return to Juba almost a year in exile in Kenya but sources have told the Nyamilepedia that a high-level meeting between Malong and a Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) delegation sent by President Salva Kiir collapsed last week over the terms of the possible return of the former army chief.

Malong sought his safety and protection to be guaranteed as well as the role he will play during the next transitional period due to commence in May next year as per the agreement signed last month in Addis Ababa.

A long time ally to President Salva Kiir had criticized and accused President Salva Kiir of “looting the country to bankruptcy” igniting one of the worse crisis in South Sudan which has resulted in deaths of hundreds of people.