Juba alarmed as sacked military boss travels to Sudan

Monday March 19 2018

South Sudan former military chief of staff Paul Malong Awan. He flew to Khartoum from Nairobi last week, but the reasons for his visit were unknown. PHOTO | FILE


The South Sudan government has sounded the alarm over former military chief Paul Malong's recent visit to Khartoum.

The Presidential Press Secretary, Mr Ateny Wek Ateny, alleged in Juba Monday that Gen Malong was in Khartoum to seek support for his subversive activities against the Juba administration.

“We are not surprised by his visit to Khartoum. The visit is an attempt to fight the government of South Sudan,” he told the The EastAfrican.

Political turmoil

General Malong flew to Khartoum from Nairobi last week, but the reasons for his visit were unknown.

Juba worries that the influential former military boss could cause political turmoil ahead of the High Level Revitalisation Forum due to resume in Addis Ababa soon.


“He had already started subversive activities against the government. So, it means he is in Khartoum for that mission,” Mr Ateny said.

President Salva Kiir in January declared Gen Malong a rebel after an alleged leaked audio tape revealed his intention to attack Juba and Wau towns in an attempt to overthrow the government.

Mr Ateny claimed that the audio tape alone was sufficient proof that the former controversial commander had turned into a rebel.

Relations between Gen Malong and President Kiir deteriorated after the former was sacked from his post as Army Chief of Staff in May 2017 and placed under house arrest for fear he would foment a rebellion.

Gen Malong was freed in November following mediation led by the Jieng Council of Elders. The agreement refrained him from going to his home-town of Aweil in the former Northern Bahr el-Ghazal State, but he was free to travel to any East Africa country.