Paul Malong’s dismissal: Did the President get it right or wrong?

Posted: May 12, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Martin Ariel Majak, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Martin Ariel Majak, Alexandria, Egypt

Malong Awan Anei

May 12, 2017 (SSB) — Well, the firing of Paul Malong as the Chief of General Staff by President Kiir, came as shock news to many if not all people who heard it. No people even had that wishful thinking in mind. As known, Malong was seen as a right hand man to the President. He was the man tasked with the responsibility of transforming the army following the events of 15 Dec.2013. The boat needed someone like Malong at the time to steer it through the storms.

Indeed, he stepped up to the job and did amazingly well though and masterminded numerous victories against the rebels, who I guess, are the happiest people now celebrating his dismissal. He had the morale of the army raised high. King Paul, as he became known by his fans, was a no nonsense military guy who feared no evil, cared much about his country and who had  vowed to put an end to the lingering rebellion of Riek.

So why sack him? With apparently no given reason for Malong’s dismissal, people are just left speculating about what could have led to his dismissal. So don’t take them as real. There are people who say he got sacked because he was seen to be more of a stumbling block to Peace as he objects to concessions aimed at achieving peace. Okay fine, let’s wait for the delivery of Peace tomorrow now that he is gone – his supporters argue.

Others go as far as accusing Taban for playing his tricky hands in the dismissal of Malong so that he creates cracks in the government and does the usual thing – hijacking the boss from the top position. Can anyone contest that? Riek is only person can give good testament about what personality Taban is.

But wait! Where was Taban on the day Malong was fired? He was in Bor by that time to deflect away any attention. Was it coincidental? Hmm, I just don’t know. This claim doesn’t add up even though you can’t rule out as yet another machination of Taban, who knows!

Whereas some people point to the recent poor health of Malong as the main reason for his sacking so that he goes home and rests. Hey, are they kidding?  No person, not even the health Minister, can say he is not sick of any disease? As a matter of facts, all in the government are sick. So why him, the question still remains?

There were wild speculations too that he was dismissed following recommendations from Trump. Who? Donald Trump, the president of USA. Oops! Trump is battling with other big things including inquiries that his campaign colluded with Russia to help him win the elections. Does he even know Malong? Lol.

It is fair to say that the man’s popularity within the ranks of SPLA was massive and somewhat seen as threatening to the top man, one theory suggests that! And so he had to be gotten rid.

Did the President get it right or wrong, his decision to fire Malong? At the moment, nothing can be said until the dust settles. Only the coming days or months will determine whether the decision taken was right or wrong.

Whatever the reason lying behind the sacking of Malong, it is fair to also say that uncertainty will hinge on the country for some time now. Not that he will take up arms against the government, but he might be provoked into doing so.

Look at how he got out of Juba immediately after learning of his dismissal, without handing over power, only to be stopped in Yirol. It showed he was not happy with his removal. And also too, it showed there was nothing like any kind of prior consultations to the man.

He’s a guy who should have not been forced to bow out of the scene in that way at least not for now. He deserved a dignified exit – one in which he should have left the stage with no grudges.

But take this, Malong is a nationalist who holds his country dear to his heart and will never rebel as being circulated by rumormongers.

The writer is a student in Alexandria University, Egypt. He can be reached via arielmajak93@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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