July 21, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s former army chief and holdout opposition leader, General Paul Malong Awan Anei, has said that he did not intend to take up arms against anyone, but was forced to do so.
Malong who rebelled in November 2017 following his dismissal as army chief a few months earlier had been a close ally of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, since his appointment as army chief in 2014.
Prior to his arrest, Malong had decided to travel to his home in Aweil. However, he was stopped in Yirol and asked to return to Juba. He was later put under the house arrest and the military surrounded his home.
An intervention by the elders got President Kiir to allow Malong to seek medical help in Kenya.
“I was told to go to Kenya and promised the money for treatment, and none of that came. When President Kiir visited Kenya, the meeting was initiated by the ambassador for me to meet President Kiir,” Malong said in an interview with the SBS Dinka Radio.
“I was able to ask President Kiir about the reasons my money was delayed… and my passport. But there was no good answer. After our meeting, the ambassador who initiated the meeting between Kiir and me was humiliated and fired,” he said.
“I have never had the intention to fight anyone. I wanted us to work together to find the roots or how things went wrong? I was released to go to Kenya on medical grounds, but I was stripped of my passport… I was given a document to travel in the region.”