The main reason advanced for making alleged decision of withdrawal as I have understood from that article is that President Kiir has failed to end the hostilities. Then the Sudans Post went on to narrate the background to the present conflict in South Sudan and other irrelevant matters involved.
When I came across the above news headlines, I first read it and after reading it, the first thing I did was to contact my Chairman General Malong in Nairobi to confirm whether what was published concerning his threats to withdraw from the Rome Declaration was right.
In his response, my Chairman General Malong made it clear that the information was fake and whoever published it was just concocting information in order to make news for his or her website. General Malong categorically denied to have made such a decision and those who are saying it are looking for a way to destruct the peace process that has reached that milestone.
Then General Malong clearly pointed out that the Declaration was not signed unilaterally between him and the government but it was signed by leadership of South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA), which needs a decision from all the members or leadership in case there is a need for withdrawal. After the decision, the members will have to release the Press Statement to the Public reasons as to why they have decided to withdraw from the Rome Declaration.
Thus, it is not as simple as the Sudans Post suggested it. Therefore, General Malong would like to inform the members and leadership of SSOMA and the general public that the news that General Paul Malong Awan has threatened to withdraw from Rome Declaration is fake news merely calculated to incite the conflict and derail the Peace Agreement.
This is always the move by those who are against peace and who do not want peace to come to South Sudan. They are working hard day and night, by crooks and fair means to derail the formation of the New Government of the National Unity which is set to kick off in February 2020.
Their mission is to keep the country in war. General Malong warned those people who fed the Sudans Post with this false information to stop allegations otherwise he already got their identities and he is waiting for their other move against him and SSOMA to take appropriate actions against them.
In general, General Malong has condemned the one who published that fake news. He has made it clear that he has not threatened to withdrawn from the Rome Declaration since he has agreed with the members of SSOMA before they went to Rome for negotiation and he has to honor that Agreement.
In addition, the reason cited by Sudans Post is not the genuine reason that any reasonable person can withdraw from the Agreement. This is because by the time General Malong and other Members of SSOMA leadership went to Rome, there was fighting going on in the Country and if that was the case, the Leadership of SSOMA would have not gone to Rome in the first place.
At the same time, the reason General Malong and other members of SSOMA leadership were going to Rome was to bring peace. So why should he threaten to withdraw from the Declaration yet there is no conflict within SSOMA as a movement.
Proper procedure which the Sudan Post and members of public should understand in case of withdrawing from Rome Declaration is that if it is withdrawal from the Declaration, SSOMA is the one to withdraw in case the leadership disagree with the Government, but individual member of SSOMA cannot unilaterally withdraw before withdrawing from the SSOMA.
General Malong unequivocally condemns the publisher of the fake news and calls upon the public not to listen to any such news in respect to the Rome Declaration unless it is the Official communication from the leadership of SSOMA.
The author is the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) country representative to the Republic of Uganda. He can be reached here!
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