May 12, 2018(Nyamilepedia) —– While many South Sudanese, the region and the international community are all focused on how to resolve South Sudan conflict — a deadly civil war that is usually described as a power struggle between the president and his former deputy, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, or as a conflict between the two largest tribes, the Dinka and the Nuer — the Dinka elites and their elderly politicians known as the Jieng Council of Elders are privately involved in another deadly conflict – wrangling on who should replace President Salva Kiir.
The internal conflict on “who among the Dinka elites” should replace President Salva Kiir Mayar [in case if he dies in office or forced to resign] is as intense as the ongoing civil war but well-managed among the Dinka politicians, elders and Dinka dominated states.
“The planers, who planned in darkness, other people doesn’t see and other people doesn’t believe it. In fact some people calculated that Salva maybe sooner or later will be out of the power and if he is out of the power then those who were calculating who will be obstacle for what they want to do were the planers. The planers[thought that] I will be an obstacle of their calculation if something happen to Salva” Said the former Chief of Staff of the SPLA, Gen. Paul Malong Awan.
“So therefore, Salva had to be used against me so that they remain if something happen to him then the planers will just go in and achieve their calculation. [That was the reason I was removed]” Malong continued.
This internal conflict has been mostly among the Bhar el Ghazal Dinka sub-tribes and states, especially between the Aweil and Gokrial Dinka; however, the underdog Dinka Bor, who currently holds the most powerful positions – the Chief of General Staff, Minister of Defense, Minister of Information among other – is slowly but noticeably rinsing to power.
Speaking on Facebook Live today from Nairobi, Kenya, the Former Chief of Staff of the SPLA, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, one of the major victims and losers of this conflict so far, reveals how intense this under-the-table conflict is driving the presidency and Dinka leadership of South Sudan.
Gen. Malong, who was the most noticeable figure among the Dinka elites to replace President Kiir, revealed names of individuals who are driving this conflict and also loosely mentioned those who are losing and those who seemingly have upper hand.
Many of the Dinka elites like Gen. Malong and Kuol Manyang, who found themselves at the center of this internal power wrangle, were not at the national scene until mid 2013 when Kiir and Dr. Machar fallout widen.
Gen. Malong came from Northern Bhar el Ghazal, where he was a governor, and took over the army although he was not the Chief of General Staff of the SPLA while Gen. Kuol Manyang went straight to the Minister of Defense where he remains until today.
“If we talk of 2013, in 2013 I was not the chief of Staff but I tried to manage President Kiir. I used to manage him when I came and got him confused by the people who like to give wrong information that Xs and Ys are coming to attack you” Said Gen. Paul Malong in a Facebook Live interview by Jongkor Mayol.
“I used to go and stay with him[Hoth] in day time, I and general Pieng, in the evening I just come to President Kiir to caution him if people have confused him on who should attack him or not attack him” Gen. Malong continued
The Engineers of Internal Power Wrangle
As Gen. Malong explains, the internal power wrangle is between the army, military intelligence and the national security, which are all led by Dinka generals who were appointed by President Salva Kiir.
While Gen. Paul Malong Awan led the army, South Sudan National Security and Military Intelligence were led by Gen. Akol Kor and Gen. Marial Nuor, respectively- all from Bhar el Ghazal Dinka.
Both Malong and Marial have been sanctioned by the international community and also fired by president Salva Kiir leaving Gen. Akol Kor at the reign of internal power wrangle.
“Well, you see the ENGINEER of the all issue is the director, the director of internal security [Akol Kor], he was the one planning whatever. Those that he might have brought on board are there and those who disagreed with what he wanted to do were all fired.” Gen. Malong explains on Facebook Live.
According to Gen. Malong, the director of military intelligence, Gen. Marial Nuor and the former Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of the SPLA, Gen. Mangaar Buong, were told to agree to reports that Malong was planning a coup to overthrow president Salva Kiir, however, when they failed to acknowledge those reports, which came from the national security, they got fired.
“I have director of military intelligence when the director of internal security gave a report that I was planning for a coup, the director of military intelligence who is direct in the army and I was the one in charge in the army. If there was anything happening in the army, I should be the one to give it.” Malong said.
“The deputy chief of staff for operations, Mangar Buong, was also not aware of what they were saying and he said “I’m the deputy for operations, if there is any activities against the president I should be the one to do it or to report it to go contrary with whatever as been said”” Malong continued.
“Those two officers, Mangar Buong and Marial Nuor of military intelligence were relieved because of those two statements” Gen. Malong confirmed.
According to Gen. Malong, the army [SPLA-IG] was divided with some officers supporting him and others supporting Gen. Akol Kor, the Director of Internal Security.
Malong reveals that Gen. Akol Khor was in the same camp with Gen. Marial Nuor and the late former Chief of Staff of the SPLA, Gen. James Ajong Mawut, however, Marial was fired immediately when he failed to acknowledge the false reports that Malong was planning a coup to overthrow the president.
“The director was planning with another two officers in the army, which I may not mention one but I may mention one. I may not mention one for the reason that he was my lovely brother and he is not alive [James Ajonga, the late former chief of staff] but Marial Nuor was made to give that information but he had no channel of getting what he said” Malong said.
This leaves doubts whether or not the claims that the former Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. Ajonga, might have been poisoned in such a scheme, to be established.
Gen. Malong went on to explain how the national security and SPLA forces invaded his residence, arrested or killed his officers and supporters after he lost power.
Many politicians, especially governors and ambassadors, who were considered to be loyal to Paul Malong were relieved and forced to hide. Some have now escaped to neighboring countries or joined rebellion within the country.