Why General Malong Awan was Right to React the Way He Reacted

Posted: May 27, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

Paul Malong

Paul Malong Awan, Aweil

May 22, 2017 (SSB) — May 9, 2017 will be remembered in history of South Sudan. It is a day which has become a turning point in the history of ruthless and inhuman decree of the President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit.

President Kiir has become obsessed with the power to the extent that he can issue the decree to stop the birds flying over Juba. What is peculiar about all the decrees that are issued by the President is that they are issued even without his knowledge. This is because the president has pre-signed all decrees and other documents which are just kept in his office ready to be issued at any time.

With those decrees pre-signed what remains only are the words to be written on them and then issued by his employees even without the Master’s instruction or decision. The employees use the powers of the President to coerce every government officials.

As explained in the above paragraph, in order to remain in job or to be appointed in government one has to worship or be a slave to those working in the State House.   This explains why the game of lobbying has become very important and highly priced game in South Sudan and the State House in Particular.

Hence, the ability or capability or qualifications of a person do not determine the employment as what determines it in South Sudan is who one knows and who is known by those working in the offices.

In that respect South Sudanese like me and others who are free minded will never dream of being employed by the Government of the SPLM in South Sudan since we do not believe in serving any person but South Sudan itself.

The whole process can be summed up in the following sentence: South Sudan is a country where snobbish, miscreant and sycophants rule the country and consequently, these snobbish, miscreants and sycophants have destroyed the country as their visions, objectives, goals and mission is to destroy the country for their own benefits hence ruining the establishment of a nation and SPLM party which is a historical party.

The snobbish, miscreants and sycophants who are in the heart of the Government of South Sudan thought this time that they would do the same with General King Paul Malong Awan. However, they were mistaken as they did wrong miscalculations. They thought that Malong would be removed in obscured manner like what they do to other individuals who believe in their power and just accept what is done to them without questioning the method and procedure followed in removing them.

Nonetheless, Malong who is a true Dinka and a true Bhar El Ghazal person and citizen could not accept such a bullying through the use of visionless, missionless, objectiveless, selfishness and goalless decrees.

Thus, Malong shows the President that there is limit to his powers and in running the country there is a need for dialogue at different levels. In my opinion, Malong was right to have reacted the way he reacted towards the action of the President in removing him due to the following reasons—

First of all, the President took side in the conflict between Akol Koor and General Malong Awan. For instance, recently, Malong has quarreled with Akol Koor before his removal. The quarrel resulted into a physical fight during the meeting in the presence of the President. This shows that there was a deep animosity between the two men and as a matter of fact and for the sake of justice and fairness, the president should have remained neutral in this conflict.

Nevertheless, by removing Malong after they have fought with Akol Koor and allowing Akol Koor to be in charge of security as it was shown by the fact that Akol Koor on that day deployed national Security personnel in the whole town and around Malong’s house clearly showed that the President took side.

What made the action by the President to remove Malong unfair is the fact that he treated Malong in degrading manner contrary to the general rule of army in which junior officers must respect senior officers. By putting Akol Koor in charge of security over Malong during the removal while he is a junior officer to Malong in term of the army ranking. This was unfair and unreasonable.

It was unfair and unreasonable because despite the removal of Malong, he has not lost his rank as an army officer and the rule of the army should have been followed by the President to respect Malong’s status but not to treat Malong as if they are at the same level with Akol Koor.

 The action of Malong was, therefore right because it is a measure to protect himself and also to maintain his dignity and personal security until when it is assured by the State. This is true because where there is no law or where the authorities do not follow the law, the individual has to protect him or herself. Malong, therefore, justified to use the public law (which are people) to counter the president’s misuse of Powers.

Second it, the action of Malong was justified to show the President that he was not supposed to be used as scapegoat in appeasing the international community. There have been many calls for the President to remove Malong from the international community. This is because International community and the oppositions have been associating Malong with the mass atrocities and by removing Malong in such a hastily manner, it appeared that Malong was being made as a sacrificial lamb to appease international community.

One thing the oppositions and international community did not understand is that if there is evidence that Malong killed innocent people but not rebels then Malong and the President together should be held accountable as General Malong was acting on the orders of the President.

On that ground Malong wanted the president to give him more protection and if not, then, they must go together to the ICC but not Malong alone. By being ambiguous on the reason he removed Malong and also by tightening the security around town and Malong’s house, the President sent a clear message that Malong was not protected and because of that Malong was justified to act as he did.

Thirdly and related to the above, Malong deserves to be given special respect and appreciation by the President. Instead of the President demanding special appreciation from General Malong, the President was supposed to appreciate the role of General Malong in protecting him and keep him in power from 2014 to date.

 If it was not because of Malong, the wave of the White Army of Nuer Lou would have swept away the president from power in 2014. But for General Malong, the White Army was devastated and completely destroyed.

In addition, Malong is a true nationalist and he is one of the rarest loyalists to the president though the President did not see this fact. Malong, for instance, if he wanted political power, he would have overthrown the president as the President from 2014 to date was at his mercy.

Moreover, Malong sacrificed his personal interest and Bhar El Ghazal children in form of Mathiang Anyoor to protect the President as shown by the fact that majority of Mathiang Members are from Aweil, his home town. Among Mathiang Anyoor members, many were killed and some are still being killed today while some of them are currently begging on the streets in Juba. This because Mathiang Anyoor are uprooted from their home town where they can manage to survive on their own by thrown into a new environment.

Sufferings of Aweil and other Bhar El Ghazal children as explained above shows that Malong sacrificed the lives of Bhar El Ghazal to protect the lives and power of the President of South Sudan. It also shows that Malong is capable in mobilizing masses to fight for him and others.

In disregard to the above fact, the attempt of the president to throw out Malong as if he is just an ordinary General was a form of humiliation. How would Malong have explained to the parents of those Mathiang Anyoor members who are killed in defending Kiir’s presidency?

What the President was supposed to have done was to accord Malong special honour and thanks because he is one of the capable army officers.  Malong has all right to demand from the President and South Sudan, special thanks and honour, which must be accorded to him as a special General in the history of South Sudan.

Contrary to that it appears that the President does not observe the ability of those who are working under him but concern only with how to keep and maintain power, which is a bad sign for a country like South Sudan.

In that respect, South Sudan needs personal sacrifice and capable personalities as seen in case of general Malong. This is what South Sudan needs if the unity is to be achieved in the country. This is not the case as the President is against capable individuals.

Malong, in fact, despite his little education is by far better than other highly educated people. This is due to the fact that he knows what to do and this is why his interest was to protect the safety of South Sudan from rebels and external powers.

South Sudan was able to fall apart in 2013 and 2014 had it not been General Malong Awan who devoted himself into protecting South Sudan. The reality is that if Malong were interested in power he would have overthrown the president since he was in realm of power and the President was at his mercy from 2014 to May 09, 2017 but he did not make use of that chance.

Thirdly, as explained in the above paragraph, it is important to note that Malong did not rebel against the Government as many people believed. If Malong was fighting against his removal to protect his post, he would have overthrown the Government while in his position as Chief of General Staff or on that day immediately after his removal while he was still in Juba since he has a lot of support and influence as we saw in Yirol and in Juba after his return from Yirol.

For the above reasons, Malong, by leaving Juba peacefully he was not interested in fighting for the post but he was acting tactfully as he was taking precautionary measures to protect himself against unforeseen move and plan by the President and Akol Koor.

One of the reasons Malong left Juba on that day was that the situation in Juba was not safe for him to remain in Juba given the fact that the President and Akol Koor created unnecessary tension through employing contingency of national army and security forces around town, on all the streets and around General Malong’s house a day before announcing his removal.

 Because of that any reasonable person would have acted the way Malong acted since there is no law to protect his personal right and security once arrested. For that reason, Malong was justified to react as he did.

Before I conclude this article it must be observed that this article is written in expectation of any benefits from any General Malong or anybody but to explain the truth behind Malong’s removal. The motivation for writing this letter is, therefore, to support the truth not any person.

In conclusion, based on the above reasons and other underlying factors not explained in this article, Malong was justified to act the way he acted because he had to protect himself against the plan of the president and Akol Koor. Therefore, the lies being spread that Malong was fighting against his removal were not true but his intention was to reduce tension that was growing in Juba in the aftermath of his removal that might have resulted into disastrous war among Dinka.

The action of Malong shows that he loves people of South Sudan and Dinka in particular which shows that he is a real leader who is full of humanity and compassion for people of South Sudan.

 

NB// the author is a human rights lawyer and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.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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