Gen Malong adjusts ranks, replaces defectors

Gen Malong adjusts ranks, replaces defectors
Paul Malong, chairman of South Sudan United Front/Army. [Photo: Courtesy]

South Sudan United Front/Army chairman, Gen Paul Malong has adjusted the ranks of his officers in a new as he filled the ranks left vacant by the latest defection.

Brigadier General Thon Chiluel Mathou was promoted to the rank of Major General

while Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Garang Piol now occupies the rank of Brigadier General and Lieutenant Colonel

Joseph Majok Thiep Arou was promoted from a Major to the rank of Brigadier General. Former Major Philip Deng Kuol Nguot is now a Colonel.

Maj Gen Thon Chiluel Mathou will also act as the Deputy Chief of General Staff for Operations with, Brig Gen Garang Piol as the Director of Operations.

Brig Gen Joseph Majok Thiep Arou is the new Deputy Director of Military Intelligence with Col Philip Deng Kuol Nguot as the SSUF/A Military Spokesperson.

South Sudan United Front is a member of the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) which also includes Real SPLM of Pagan Amum and the National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Thomas Cirilo. 

SSOMA has been engaging the government in peace talks mediated by the Community of Sant’Egidio, which has not held any talk since the beginning of the year.

Splinter group

Two weeks ago, Malong’s movement suffered a major setback after six high rank officers changed allegiance by forming a splinter group – South Sudan United Front/Army Proper (SSUF/AP).

The new group denounced violence and accused Malong of lack of political direction, and failure to address challenges facing refugees and IDPs stipulated in SSUF/A’s objectives.

“We the undersigned have and, out of necessity, opted to part ways with the current leadership of Chairman Gen Paul Malong Awan Anei; and announce to you the formation of the South Sudan United Front/Army Proper (SSUF/AP) as our new umbrella,” the statement from the group read.

“The South Sudan United Front and Army Proper (SSUF/AP) therefore seek and affirm commitment to the nonviolent approach as an alternative to ending the conflict in our Republic.”

Gen. Malong has been facing serial defections from his movement including that of official spokesperson and ICT Secretary, Deng Chapath who joined the government in January 2022.

Deng termed Malong as “nepotistic” who “treats people with utmost disrespect”, and warned South Sudanese against joining Malong so that they would not regret it later as he did.

 “I also convey my message to the public that I will brief them through different media platforms to share with them my discontentment and the way forward,” he stated in his resignation letter.

The SSUF/A Deputy Chief of Staff for Training and Research, Daniel Mach, claimed Chapath “had been bought by the government’’

“This is the serious news. Our spokesperson was bought again by the government. Spokesperson in SSUF/A (is a) hot seat. No vacuum (left) actually, but it’s the target seat where the government buys people,” he stated.

SSUF/A’s new promotions and appointments

  • Thon Chiluel Mathou now a major general
  • Joseph Garang Piol now a brig general
  • Joseph Majok Thiep Arou now a brigadier general.
  • Philip Deng Kuol Nguot now a colonel.
  • Appoi
  • Maj Gen Thon Chiluel Mathou appointed Deputy Chief of General Staff for Operations,
  • Brig Gen Joseph Garang Piol appointed the Director of Operations
  • Brig Gen Joseph Majok Thiep Arou appointed the Deputy Director of Military Intelligence
  • Col Philip Deng Kuol Nguot appointed SSUF/A military spokesperson.