South Sudan President Salva Kiir Meets Sacked Army Chief Paul Malong

Former South Sudan People’s Liberation Army commander, Gen Paul Malong

South Sudanese have welcomed talks between President Kiir and General Paul Awan Malong, the former chief of general staff of the South Sudan army, the SPLA.

The two men held a meeting at the presidential palace last week, after which they announced that differences between them have come to an end.

There was a standoff after the president, two weeks ago, relieved Gen Malog of his duties as the army chief, replacing him with Maj Gen James Ajongo Mawut.

The removal resulted in Gen Malong travelling to his home town in Aweil. Half way his journey, however, the powerful general was stopped and asked to return to the capital Juba.

President Kiir, in an announcement made it clear that he was displeased with the way Gen Malong left before handing over to his replacement. In several interviews with journalists, Gen Malong said he was travelling home to be with family and that he would remain loyal to the government and serve his country.

A committee of Dinka elders travelled to Yirol in Eastern Lakes State, where the general had been stopped an asked him to return and talk President Kiir.

Gen Malong’s return was received with celebrations from citizens in Juba, who
credited the hard line general for helping the national army win several battles against the armed opposition faction loyal to ex-vice President Riek Machar.

In a telephone interview with Daily Monitor at the weekend, a source who attended the meeting between President Kiir and Gen Malong said the talks were cordial as both men agreed that there was no need to hold grudges. It is reported that Gen Malong thanked the president for honouring him to serve his country and pledged to continue supporting the cause for peace in the world’s youngest nation.

Several South Sudan nationals interviewed said the reconciliation process between Kiir and Malong will bring peace, adding that they are happy seeing the two leaders sit together.

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Source: The Monitor

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