August 6th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan rebel commander has replaced General Paul Malong Awan as leader of South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A), a rebel group Awan created in 2018 following a 2017 fallout with President Salva Kiir.
In a statement to Nyamilepedia on Tuesday, General Paulino Akoon Yel, a spokesman for the group said Lt. Gen. Garang Achiec Bol Agiu has been selected to lead the group after Malong turned down and early call to relinquish SSUF/A leader.
He said many leaders in the group had urged Malong to leave power because he was under international sanctions and couldn’t perform his duties as leader of the group given the boycott by the region which came as result of the sanctions.
“General Paul Malong Awan was our chairman and he has been sanctioned by United Nation security which curtailed him for the progress of the movement,” Yel told the Nyamilepedia on Tuesday.
“However, we learnt that the leadership of General Paul Malong won’t bring any change in our organization. We have spoken to him in order to hand over position of the chairman and commander in chief to General Garang Achiec Bol Agiu. He has spurned, then we appointed General Garang Achiec to replace him,” he added.
Yel however admitted that a huge controversy and split has occurred in the group with some strong supporters of Malong still in solidarity with the former army chief. He said as result, the group has been divided into two with Malong remaining with the faction pursuing war agenda while they denounced the violence and negotiating with the government in Juba.
“In fact, SSUF/A members were not all convinced about the appointment of the new chairman because there are few beneficiaries supporting Gen Paul Malong but majority were stand with Gen Garang Achiec Bol Agiu,” he said.
“In that matter it created division in the movement whereby Malong remained with his organization stand for war and Garang Achiec with his own SSUF/A stand for peace,” he further said adding that Garang “took majority of both soldiers and politicians with him.”