April 9, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– South Sudan’s army chief, Paul Malong Awan, who left Juba recently while protesting the return of Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the First Vice President Designate and the leader of the armed opposition, is believed to be directly responsible for the latest attacks in Wau and Mundri.
According to the latest UN report, the army chief is coordinating the ongoing violations of permanent cease fire agreement in Western Bhar eh Ghazal and Western Equatoria states.
“The on-going military operation in Wau County was being personally coordinated by the SPLA Chief of Staff, General Paul Malong” Reads part of the lastest UN report obtained from senior SPLA cadres.
Citing war crimes and human rights violations, the report holds South Sudan incumbent president, Salva Kiir, to account for his 2013 speech which is believed to have triggered the current conflict.
“President Kiir’s speech to the National Liberation Council in December 2013 invoking memories of the 1991 split appeared as one of the most compelling signs of the start of the crisis.” read part of 102 paged report.
According to eye witnesses, Malong has recruited over 3000 youth within the last two weeks in Northern Bhar el Ghazal to be transported to Juba, a trend he conducted before the current conflict broke out in December 2013.
Malong, who has so far escaped sanctions for his role in the conflict, has been fighting a bitter war on his part for the last two years.
Since he succeeded the former Chief of General Staff, James Gathoth Mai, Malong has pledged to end the war militarily and openly opposed the signing of the current peace agreement, threatening that he would rather joint terrorist organizations such as AL-qaeda than witnessing a return of the former Vice President, Riek Machar.
Mobilizing youths in his home town of Malualkon of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state on Tuesday, Malong assures his supporters that Riek will never become a president in his lifetime.
“I will wait to see how he would be the president in this country in our presence, he would be a president in my absence” Said Malong Awan, the army chief who only speaks his native language, Dinka.
According to reports from Wau, Western Bhar el Ghazal, Malong ordered the latest attacks on the oppositions around Wau, Mundri and parts of Norther Upper Nile to prevent cantonments sites for the oppositions and to derail the peace agreement.
“The Sudan’s People Liberation Movement/Army in opposition condemns in strongest term possible the barbaric and aerial bombardment carried out by government forces today in Western Bharel Ghzal. This afternoon, 3 government armed gunships bombarded our forces under command of General Romadan at Monatena area at around 3:30 PM where SPLA-IO forces are camping.” said the SPLA-IO military spokesman, Col. William Gatjiath Deng.
The opposition also accused their rival of attacking their positions in Booth of Upper Nile State.
“Government forces also provoke the situation where they launched ground attacked on SP LA-IO position in Booth,North of Upper Nile” Said Dickson Gatluak of SPLA-IO.
Although the March 2016 UN report attribute most human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity to the government led army, critics fear that the perpetrators may evade justice given that the state under the leadership of Salva Kiir is deeply involved in committing such atrocities, rapes and war crimes.