Why Firing Gen. Paul Malong is a Common Disaster for all South Sudanese

Posted: May 18, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Kuach Loch Garang Deng, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Kuach Loch Garang, Calgary, Canada

Generals Pieng Deng Majok, Paul Malong Awan and Malual Ayom Dor at the Bor Airport during the second liberation of Bor, 2014

Generals Pieng Deng Majok, Paul Malong Awan and Malual Ayom Dor at the Bor Airport during the second liberation of Bor, 2014

May 17, 2017 (SSB) — May 9, 2017 Marks the new beginning in South Sudan political development the day the President of the Republic of South  Sudan 1st Let.Gen.Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a decree to fire Gen.Paul Malong Awan who was then the Chief of General Staff of the SPLA Army. Replacing him with Gen. James Ajongo Mawut of the bravest and  the toughest Generals in the history of South Sudan struggle.

Gen. Ajongo was one of loyalists and patriot generals who stood in face many challenges since the civil war  broke out in 2013. Therefore, no doubt about is commitment and competitiveness to handle his new assignment. However, Change of General Malong had caused havoc because of some controversial administration conflict it’s associated with.

This change was expected by the members of  general public but the way it happened caught many South Sudanese people with great surprise.In fact, it should have not surprise anybody because South Sudan has been ruled by gossip and there is no classified information from top to bottom.The way the President handle was misguided.

In fact, there have been so many rumours in the last two to three months that Gen.Paul Malong who was the Chief of Staff  and Gen. Akol Koor managing Director of National Security Apparatus were not in good working relations. Since I do not know what brought them head to head, I do not and will not delve deep in that affairs but will focus on this evening of decree and impact it does and what may happen God forbid in South Sudan political dynamic.

Many theories indicate that nations failure or success rest on their government institutions effectiveness and efficiency .Therefore, South Sudan might have a problem because its institutions are not working efficiently for the benefit of the nation.If not, Gen. Akol Koor as a director of South Sudan National Security has a very important role to play in national security and public safety.

Gen. Paul Malong as the Chief of Staff has a great responsibility of  national defense and national border territory from foreign aggression and eternal security  especially when the country is  in war with itself. Minister of Defense and Minister Security in office of the President plus president himself make a great team  which of people of South Sudan rely on them for safety daily.

Unfortunately, if these institutions and the leaders who oversee them have no good working relationships , it’s show the national security and security of the general public could be compromised for the lack of cooperation. As a result, the president should devoted a lot of time and resources to solve the conflict between these generals feud! Unfortunately,the president  took a short cut and decided to fire Gen. Paul Malong instead of getting rid to both of them to show the fairness at least or find another amicable solution.

Again,It’s a responsibility of the president to do what he sees fit but he must consider the consequences his action may cause before he makes it! Remember, all human according to the Holy Bible are all children of God created in his own image but sometimes God favour others as he called Israelite as chosen people.

Most importantly, God proclaimed that Jesus is the only Son he loves the most without giving the reason why when we are all his children. Similarly, President Kiir as a father of the nation, he has the right to keep and fire as he wants but he needs to consider time factor.

Why Salva Kiir sacked or fired Malong Awan now?

President Salva Kiir needs to be reminded of four very important events in which Gen.Paul Malong helped him direct or indirect to became to where he is today. In 2004 Standoff conflict between Dr.John Garang Mabior C in C of the SPLA Army who was  in New Site then and himself Gen. Salva Kiir vice president then in Yei

That conflict of 2004 started when Dr. John had differences with Salva Kiir and wanted to get rid of him.As time almost an Harvest where people South Sudan we’re wait to sign CPA in few months to come, generals generals from great region of  Bhar El Ghazel viewed that as an opportunity Dr.John Garang could eliminate Gen.Kiir and deny them fruits of their hard labor in struggle.

Therefore, Bhar El Ghazel Gen.Paul Malong teamed up and joined hands together to challenge Dr.John Garang.In that struggle, comes slogan United we stand and divided we fall.

Because Dr.John Garang was nationalist and patriot South Sudanese,he prioritize South Sudan hopeful of peace and so he accepted peaceful dialogue which was convened in Rumbek,Lake State .In the conference,people of South Sudan resolved the conflict between  two brothers and heroes Dr. Garang and Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit. They also moved on to put their house in order to head to anticipated CPA pact.

Gen.Salva Kiir Mayardit kept his position of the  vice President of SPLM while Dr.John Garang continue as the chairman and C In C. In July 2005 when the unfortunately helicopter crashed  took the life the hero Dr.John Garang, Gen.Kiir was selected by his comrades and becomes the President of South Sudan in secession of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011.As a result, Gen.Malong should at earn a credit from you from!

April 2010 Elections

Another equally important event was April  2010 elections. During this election, many candidates decided to run as independent because the process candidate selection was unfair according to their claims. NBG state was one the states dominated by independent candidates.However, Gen.Paul Malong did what he could to win  the elections on the SPLM tickets in your support.

As a result of that  election of 2010, great number of Aweil  citizens hated Gen. Malong because of his relationship with you.Yet, When frauded and defeated members of independent  candidates wanted to complaint, Aweil Citizens were able to convince them to give up their rights for the South Sudan to have awaited referendum as united South Sudanese.

Gen. Malong even though he was hated because you , he had never shy away  from supporting you. In fact,he was quoted as he called you his best friend as he claim that nothing would separate no matter what.

Even though you wanted Gen. Malong and Gen. Dau to fight and destroy Aweil community peaceful state, they were able to find amicable way of resolving their political differences. Unfortunately, you took all these good deeds of Gen.Paul Malong for granted fired in humiliation way..

2013 Civil War

When the Liberation council Convention turned into chaos in Dec. 2013,you declared it as coup d’etat. When the hell get loose and the conflict broke out into nasty war, you went to the hiding but Gen. Malong took a tough decision to  leave his state position of Governor then and joined active cambate to fight against your political rival  Dr. Riak to Machar.Gen. Malong was a volunteer to fight off rebels from  sabotaging the country and protect national constitution.

Gen.Malong continue to fight on voluntary basis while he was overseeing his job as a governor and was defending your leadership.As the war get tougher and difficult, many political leaders and generals in the army saw Gen.Malong as the best replacement to then Chief of Staff Gen.James Hoth Mai.

Gen.Malong was tough and committed to his new job and so he gained a lot loyals among the high ranking generals, politics is and the general public.As a result, SPLA was able to achieve a lot of victories and they denied Riek Machar from gaining a lot territories and was almost about to totally defeat rebels.

As a result, Gen.Malong was not a jobless to praise you for appointing him as Chief of Staff but he was a governor of the one of  greatest states in Bahr El Ghazel.Without Gen.Malong and his army well trained youthful army the “Mathiang Anyors, 2013 civil  war could have  been different .

July or J1 deadly war

Finally in July 2016,one of the very deadly war broke out in Presidential Palace aka  J1 and that  was a very dangerous lethal war  if Gen. Malong and his army were not brave enough to confront IO fighters, things could have more uglier than it was. Gen. Malong was able to defeat aggressive IO fighters and chased Riek Machar for 40 days until DRC.

In Fact, the above mentioned events shows that Gen. Paul Malong has contributed a lot in liberation of this country and  in helping you to become the president, in addition, he played extra effort to keep you in power has the president.Most importantly, Gen.Malong should be thanked and credited for saving your life from the rebel leader Riek Machar both in December 2013 and July 2016

As a result,  firing  him or sacking him at this time,shows that there is no appreciation  to what he has done to you as the  president and as his personal friend as he called you.

Last and but not the least, Gen.Paul Malong’s patriotism is acknowledged by many South Sudanese for leaving his job as a  governor in order to save the nation from imminent rebellion. On May 9, 2017,Gen.Paul Malong was right to leave Juba on same day of  his firing because the situation was very volatile  and that could have resulted in unpredictable catastrophic event.

Remember it was announced on Monday before the news of his sacking that there was protest and many were arrested .National Security was busy haunting down some people wanted in participating in peaceful demonstration.

Many eyes witnesses saw Juba streets fully deployed by heavy army.This deployment was not done by General Malong and that alone indicate there a dirty conspiracy against him.so he decided to avoid anticipated clashes in very populated city Juba.There was a  fear that Gen. Malong could be provoked by Akol Koor and would stand by bullied and thing could turn uglier.

As a peace loving citizen,  Gen.general.Malong decided to leave -Juba to avoid a deadly conflict within and among civilian population.Therefore,  it is someone who does not care about the safety of civilians population who blame Gen.Malong for leaving Juba. Otherwise, Juba could have  turned to battlefield given the fear was horizon, hungry populations,and unhappy citizens who facing economic hardship.

Finally, President Salva Kiir , needs to know that firing or sacking Gen.Malong from position of Chief of Staff is his constitutional right including retiring him from active military duty if he thinks he is fitter than him.

However, Humiliating and blackmailing him afterward  is not will not be entertained by  majority of Aweil people if not the whole South Sudan. Gen.Paul Malong regardless of human errors, he has a noble place in history of South Sudan.

Kuach Loch Garang Deng is a concern South Sudanese Canadian residing in Calgary,Canada. He can be reached at lochdit2002@yahoo.ca

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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