Rebel generals led by Dickson Gatluak Jock removes Malong, open for talks with Kiir
A group of South Sudan rebel officers led by General Dickson Gatluak Jock Nyuot this afternoon issued a statement removing General Paul Malong Awan as chairman of South Sudan United Front (SSUF/A) and echoing readiness for a “home-grown’ solution for conflict with President Salva Kiir’s unity government.
JUBA, JANUARY 28th 2023 (SUDANS POST) – A group of South Sudan rebel officers led by General Dickson Gatluak Jock Nyuot this afternoon issued a statement removing General Paul Malong Awan as chairman of South Sudan United Front (SSUF/A) and echoing readiness for a “home-grown’ solution for conflict with President Salva Kiir’s unity government.
In the six-page statement extended to Sudans Post, the group of senior generals led by Gatluak who is the deputy chief of staff for administration and finance accused Malong of being incompetent to lead the movement and removed him from the leadership of the group before revoking his membership of the movement.
“We [….] have taken over the leadership of the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) and agreed enormously to dismiss Gen. Paul Malong Awan from the Movement and opted to embrace the spirit of a homegrown political dialogue with the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGONU), under the leadership of H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit,” the statement reads in part.
“Gen. Paul Malong Awan has demonstrated incompetency and lack of vision. He does not have any clear strategy on how the crisis should be addressed in the Republic of South Sudan. From the onset of joining SSUF/A, we expected the Movement to wage a total war or have a total peace with the regime in Juba, but this has not been the case. Gen. Paul Malong Awan has failed to organize the Movement and the members felt frustrated due to lack of progress,” the statement charged.
The senior military officers who supported the removal of Malong include the group’s deputy chair and commander in chief, General James Ruai Dual, Brig. Gen. Buay Khan Dong, chief of security for the Greater Upper Nile region, the group’s military spokesperson Col. Philip Deng Kuol.
Others in the list include the secretary of agriculture of the rebel movement.
The statement said international sanctions imposed on Gen. Malong – a former army chief of South Sudan – over his role in the country’s deadly civil war since it began in December 2013 had had negative impact against the movement and that Malong could not travel for diplomacy as results of the target sanctions that include travel ban and asset freeze.
“The imposed targeted sanctions by the U.S. Canada, UK and United Nations Security Council on General Paul Malong Awan for his direct command over private militia and expanding the conflicts in 2013, 2014 has hindered our operations, because of the travel ban and financial measures for years,” the statement said.
“Our former Chairman could not travel freely and have access to the military commanders on the ground,” it added.
It said that the group was “in urgent need for a new face, with new ideas and energy to organize the Movement as expected by the citizens, and the today’s declaration is a practical manifestation of a clear vision for South Sudan United front/Army (SSUF/A).”
The statement stressed the need for what it calls a home-grown solution and said their ouster of Malong – they call otherwise Nairobi Declaration – is an opportunity for the government and the opposition group to bring to an end their differences through dialogue rather than fighting which the statement stressed may results in civilians suffering.
“This homegrown version of the Rome Peace Initiative between the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGONU), under the leadership of H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit and the South Sudan United front/Army Nairobi Declaration is an opportunity for the voices of the hold-out groups to be heard. It requires our collective responsibility as South Sudanese to put an end to discrimination, Division, corruption and tribalism for a better South Sudan,” the statement said.
“The new leadership of South Sudan United Front/Army has decided not to remain neutral on the conflict in South Sudan and opted to contribute positively to a sustainable peace in our beloved Country. We believe that sustainable peace can only be realized through embracing homegrown peace initiatives,” the statement added.
Attempts to reach General Malong were unsuccessful as several phone calls ranks unanswered.
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