June 2nd 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s former SPLA Chief of Staffs turned rebel leader Gen. Paul Malong Awan says South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, has a personal hatred for the country’s former first vice president and SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar.
Gen. Malong in a statement extended to the Nyamilepedia said Kiir’s sentiment towards the prominent opposition leader led to the collapse of the 2015 peace agreement in July 2016.
“When I was talking to Kiir in persuasion to sign the agreement that he was refusing to sign because of his personal hatred for Riek Machar,” Malong said.
Malong revealed that he spoke to Kiir about peace in presence of high-ranking government officials including Kiir’s second deputy James Wani Igga among other senior government officials.
“I wasn’t talking to him in closet but before people and those present were vice president Dr James Wani Igga, Hon. Kuol Manyang Juuk and Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial and they will attest to this as a matter of honesty,” Malong who was Kiir’s ally until his dismissal in May 2017 said.
Malong said if there were any person who was against peace during the 2015 peace talks in Kiir’s administration that would be the information minister Michael Makuei Lueth who walked out of a signing ceremony by Kiir in Juba on August 26 2015.
“The only irritated person during the signing of the agreement in Juba was Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth. Even walked out of the Freedom Hall in protest and if President Salva Kiir mistook me for Makuei, then he should continue chanting for my name but if not he should cease from shifting blames and accept that he was the spoiler of the peace deal,” Malong said.
Gen. Malong remained closest allies to the South Sudanese leader until Kiir removed him in May 2017 reportedly after the country’s head of the National Security Services Gen. Akol Kor advised Kiir to remove the powerful army chief after allegedly uncovering a coup plan by Malong who later denied the allegation.
Malong then fled Juba in protest of the dismissal heading towards his hometown Aweil but was forcefully returned to the capital Juba from Yirol and was subsequently put under house arrest by the South Sudanese leader until the Jieng Council of Elders successfully advised Kiir to release him on health grounds in November 2017.
Malong went to Nairobi and few days later the government made public audio tapes portraying Malong ordering his loyalists in the SPLA to attack Juba and Wau but Malong denied and accused the national security of falsely tarnishing his image.
However, in March 2018, Malong formed his own movement accusing president Salva Kiir of looting the country to Bankruptcy.