May 15th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s former army chief, turned rebel leader, General Paul Malong Awan, has said that he supports the planned protests by South Sudan youth urging the South Sudan army to refrain from the use of force against protesters.
Youths in different parts of South Sudan are calling for a nation-wide protests tomorrow, May 16th to try to remove President Salva Kiir Mayardiit in a popular uprising.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Malong said his group is in solidarity with the youth of South Sudan on their plan to hold anti-Kiir protests across the country and in diplomatic missions of South Sudan abroad on May 16th.
“South Sudan United Front and Army stands in solidarity with the youth of South Sudan and wishes to express its appreciation for their actions and beliefs in the freedom of expression as enshrined in our laws,” Malong said in a statement he issued on Tuesday.
“After a careful analysis of the situation we noted that the planned peaceful protests are within the law and reflect popular initiative of the people,” Malong added.
Malong further rubbished reports by some critics that the protests target a particular ethnic group rather than the regime of President Salva Kiir Mayardiit.
“The erroneous impressions that the protests are targeting a particular ethnicity are baseless and only serve the regime’s interest of retaining the status quo through meaningless propaganda and blackmail,” he said in the statement seen by the Nyamilepedia.
He called on the South Sudan army to not use force against civilians saying should that happen, iut will result into damaging the army’s reputation and trust within the civil population.
“We therefore urge the army, police and other armed forces to restrain from the use of violence against the protesters. Any unreasonable interference to shoot, torture or harm the protesters will betray people’s trust on the army,” Malong said in the statement.
“The citizens heavily rely on the military to protect them from external aggression and more so, relieve them from internal burdens of oppression and discrimination,” he added.
“Once more, we reiterate our full support to the youth of South Sudan and remind them that the future of this country is tightly embedded in their hands. We respect your choice of peaceful protest over violent conflict and wishing your successful peaceful protests in Juba and around the world.”