South Sudan army rejects external mediation over standoff with former chief

by talkofsudan | Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2017

November 10, 2017 (JUBA)- The command of South Sudanese army has denied knowledge of any request by former chief of staff, Paul Malong Awan for external mediation on his difference with the government over his guards.

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Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, SPLA spokesperson, is seen at a containment site outside of the capital Juba on April 14, 2016. (AFP Photo)

The army spokesman, Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang doubted on Friday the authenticity of the letter which Awan had written to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development to mediate the current standoff with the government after he refused to accept orders asking for disarmament and arrest of his guards.

“It is part of the wider rumour mongering which is going on. Once everything is handled diplomatically and politically, I don’t see any reason why UN should come in, any small problem we have (…) since we have the solution,” said Koang.

The military spokesman said the ongoing standoff is a political issue which is being handled by the leadership of the country.

But he added Awan does not deserve a force of equivalent to a platoon of bodyguards which the government wants to withdraw, pointing that his residence is at a walking distance from the presidential palace.

“He was an SPLA soldier and former Chief of General Staff, but from the time he was relieved of his duties he became an ordinary civilian and that is why we are saying he is no longer one of us. He does not qualify to have a platoon at his home,” explained Koang.

The South Sudanese former military believes he deserves a special protection as the four-year conflict is not settled and he was involved in the anti-rebel campaign.

In September 2017, the U.S. administration announced targetted sanctions against Paul Malong Awan and two other government officials. He was accused of blocking humanitarian aid from reaching civilians.

Also in November 2016, the U.S. proposed to impose sanctions on the former military officials and others for hampering peace in South Sudan.

(ST)

Source: sudantribune

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