President Kiir says he regret appointing Gen. Malong as Army chief in 2014

President Salva Kiir attends the 34th Anniversary of the SPLA Day at Bilpam in Juba on May 18, 2017. PHOTO//© Albert González Farran - AFP News Agency
President Salva Kiir attends the 34th Anniversary of the SPLA Day at Bilpam in Juba on May 18, 2017. PHOTO//© Albert González Farran – AFP News Agency

May 8th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, said in an audio message obtained by the Nyamilepedia that he regrets appointing Gen. Paul Malong Awan Anei as the SPLA Chief of Staff in 2014 pointing out that he will never appoint any politician to the army again given the bad example that Malong as become to the army.

Before his appointment on April 23rd 2014 as the General Chief of Staff of the SPLA, Gen. Paul Malong Awan was the governor of Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal State since 27 March 2008.

Kiir last week during the SPLM Liberation Council meeting in Juba, Kiir vow that he will never appoint any person again outside the military hierarchy of the SPLA pointing out that he appointed Gen. Jok Riak on this basis.

“I will not appoint a politician into the army again. What Paul Malong did was a very bad example. I stopped from that kind of appointment that nobody will come again outside the box of the army,” Kiir said while addressing members of the National Liberation Council where Taban Deng, the First Vice President, announced the dissolution of his SPLM-IO faction.

Kiir added that he appointed General Jok Riak last week from the army saying that those who do not want him should raise a complaint wherever they can or either keep quiet.

“That’s why I just closed mu eyes and appointed Gabriel Jok. Whoever does not want him should go to a place where he can raise a complain. If there is nowhere to complain, let him  or she keep silent,” he said.

Gen. Paul Malong was dismissed in May 2017 by Kiir after reportedly having been advised by the country’s army chief who suspected Gen. Malong of planning a coup against the government of Salva Kiir Mayardiit. Subsequently, Malong fled to Yirol of Lakes State heading for his hometown Aweil in protest of his dismissal but was forcefully returned to Juba by the SPLA who were stationed in Yirol upon orders of the president and was since then put under house arrest until November 2017 after the Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders (JCE) begged president Kiir to let him go to Nairobi Kenya on health and medical grounds.

In April 2018, Gen. Malong formed an armed opposition movement against Kiir after accusing the later of looting the country bankruptcy. He named his new movement South Sudan United Front and Army (SSUF/A).

South Sudan’s Chief of Defense Forces appointed by Kiir in May 2017 to replace Malong, Gen. James Ajongo Mawut, died in April 2018 in a military hospital in the Egyptian capital Cairo after battling shot illness and Kiir appointed, last week, Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak, who was the deputy chief of defense forces before Ajongo’s death.

South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 after forces loyal to the country’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his then Governor of Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal State Gen. Paul Malong Awan went door-to-door in the capital Juba killing civilians belonging to the Nuer ethnic group sparking a nation-wide protests from top army generals from the Nuer leading to a civil war.

A peace agreement signed in August 2015 by President Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar and negotiated under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU) in presence of Troika and other international observers collapsed in July 2016 following fighting at the presidential palace in Juba “J1”.

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