Malong probes defence secretary

Malong probes defence secretary
The Chairman of South Sudan United Front/Army, Paul Malong. [Photo: Courtesy]

The leader of South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) Paul Malong has suspended his Secretary of Defence, Gen Philip Stephen Dak .

Dak was fired pursuant a letter purported to have been signed by him denouncing the procedures of joining the new alliance called Non-signatory South Sudan opposition groups (NSSSOG). The alliance was formed to discourage extension of transitional period by parties to the Revitalised Peace Agreement.

“The leadership of South Sudan United Front/Army was in great dismay that you issued a statement, signed by you, denouncing the procedures that led to the signing of the chairman and commander-in-chief to the declaration of the new alliance with some other opposition leaders,” Malong said.

“It has been found that the statement you wrote to distract and create misleading confusion in the ranks of the organisation’s members and this behaviour contradicts the goals and revolutionary paths in the struggle.

SSUF/A’s chairman ordered an investigation into what he called “gross misconduct and violation of their constitution and code of conduct.’’

Last week, NSSSOG released a statement appointing Pagan Amum of Real SPLM to be the press secretary.

Non-Signatories South Sudan Opposition Groups is composed of six armed groups that include the United Democratic Revolutionary Movement/Army UDRM/A of Thomas Tut Doap, National Democratic Movement Patriotic Front (NDM-PF) of Emmanuel Ajawin, National Salvation Front (NAS) of Thomas Cirillo, South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) of Paul Malong Awan, Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC) of Alex Yatta Lukadi, and the Real SPLM of Pagan Amum.

The group was reportedly formed to advocate for no extension of transitional period which ends in February 2023, putting to an end the 2018 Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

“The alliance also in its strongest terms possible condemns the looming extension of the transitional period by President Kiir and his elites in Juba,” Col Philip Deng Kuol Nguot, the Military Spokesperson of Malong’s movement stated. Although the government has not publicly declared any quest to extend the period of the transition.

“Amum is the officially authorised person to speak on behalf of the (NSSSOG) in dealing with media and the public. Nevertheless, this doesn’t prevent the other five leaders of (NSSSOG) to express their views if requested to do so.”

Last month, SSUF/A of Paul Malong and Real SPLM of Pagan Amum, accepted inclusion into the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM), by August 15, 2022.

This came at the close of CTSAMVM workshop held in Rome, Italy, under the auspices of Community of Sant’Egidio.

Malong had been facing a lot of defection of his key officers, including the formation of a splinter group which calls itself South Sudan United Front/Army Proper (SSUF/A-P), which claimed to use peaceful means to carry out dialogue with the government.

In January 2022, Malong’s Spokesperson and ICT Secretary, Deng Chapath, switched allegiance to the government, accusing Malong of poor leadership, and handling people with disrespect and being nepotistic.

He later warned citizens against joining Malong’s movement so that they might not regret in the future.