Jan 29, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- A confidential leak report obtained from senior officials in South Sudan capital, Juba, indicates that a brewing tension between the Chief of Staff and the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs is spontaneously running out of control.
Explained by senior officials, who preferred not to be named, the internal conflict which they believe has been managed for nearly two years between the Chief of General Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan and South Sudan’s Defense Minister, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, has now left the army headquarters – Bilpham – “deserted”.
According to the officers, the army leadership is divided with some generals supporting Gen. Kuol Manyang, others supporting Gen. Malong Awan and others supporting Gen. Salva Kiir.
With exception of Salva Kiir, who has so far been neutral between Gen. Kuol and Gen. Malong, many officers supporting Salva Kiir are believe to be leaning toward supporting Gen. Kuol.
“This is not something new, we have had it now for two years but it is definitely getting worst. We held many meetings here at Bilpham to bring the two leaders together but now every one is taking side. It reminds me of 2004 when Salva Kiir and late Dr. John Garang had differences but this time it is even harder because the country is already in war” Said the Commander, who refused to be identified on the media.
“Bilpam is deserted, Kuol is asking Kiir to choose between him and Malong….Yes, Gen. Malual Ayom went to Bor, nobody is approving request now in the Ministry of Defense.” He continued.
The officer went on to elaborate that among the six Deputy Chiefs of General Staff, Only Gen. Thomas Cirilo is still neutral and only Gen. James Ajongo Mawut supports the Chief of General Staff.
“Gen. Malek Ruben, Gen. Malual Ayom, Gen. Magar Buong and Gen. Bapiny Manytuil are supporting Salva Kiir. These deputies are supporting Kuol Manyang” he said.
“Marial Chunoweng of presidential guards, Marial Nuor of intelligence and Akol Koor of National security are siding with Kiir” He added.
The insider believes that the Chief of Staff has lost popular support among the generals as it was in 2014, however, many confirmed that most of the fighters are loyalists of Gen. Malong.
“Malong went to meet Salva Kiir to raise the case but Kiir told him “you people confused Kuol”. Kuol had a similar two hours meeting with Kiir as well but no progress made, still a deadlock.” the credible source explain.
After several unsuccessful meetings, Malong asked to go for medical treatment in Nairobi, Kenya, as part of his Blood Pressure and Asma treatment. This report was also verified by independent bodies in the army and also by eyes witnesses who visited Gen. Malong in Nairobi Hospital this week.
Malong was last seen with Dr. Adwok on the second floor of Nairobi hospital on Tuesday afternoon, according to the eye witnesses.
According to army insider, Malong was under pressure to leave the headquarters, however, he believes that Malong could be relieved of his duty any time.
“It seems he was under pressure prompting him to go to Nairobi I was told. He got fainted on several occasions here but he has his medication. We are still in suspense though we now report to Malual Ayom now Undersecretary has remained defunct with no staff!! God save our country !!” he explains.
The officer believes that the tension at the army headquarters could be one of the reason why President Salva Kiir refused to travel to Addis Ababa as he tries to calm down the situation.
In attempt to reconcile the army generals, President Salva Kiir has dispatched Dr. Bona Malual, the former advisor of President Omar el Bashir to Nairobi to meet Gen. Paul Malong Awan. Bona has arrived in Nairobi on Friday and more reports are yet to follow!
The two generals, who are now heading the army, have served in the SPLM/SPLA for many years and also served as governors of their respective states until towards December 2013.
Malong is one of the South Sudan army generals who are implicated and proposed to be sanctioned for directing the war, committing human right violations and war crimes.