Malong fired his spokesperson for opposing separate talks with Juba, what is next for SSOMA/Gen Cirilo
22 Sept. 2020; Former South Sudan army chief General Paul Malong, who turned rebel, has fired his spokesperson Sunday De John.
General Malong who is leading a rebel group to overthrown his former boss President Kiir, is a signatory to the Rome declaration signed between the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance and the government in Juba.
Reacting to his dismissal, Dr. Sunday De John who had been the spokesperson of South Sudan United Front rebel movement, said he was surprised and learned his dismissal from social media, he, however, said he expected it.
Dr. De John while reacting to the news of his dismissal said, “I read my dismissal letter on social media, and so I didn’t receive an official letter yet"
He said the decision for his dismissal came after he had disagreements with the General and his associates during their recent meetings. He, however, falls short from mentioning the time and the venue where the said meetings happened.
Dr. Sunday De John, who has long been seen as Malong's right-hand man, revealed that General Paul Malong and his group have recently reached out to President Salva Kiir, seeking a separate peace forum.
According to Dr. De John, his trouble with Malong began when he objected to the idea of reconstituting a separate talk with Juba. “I objected to the move and told them it is not good for the movement to have two peace forums. I said the Rome peace forum is the best because we are part of South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance and it has international standards,” De John was quoted.
Dr. De John further said personal talks between Malong and Kiir’s associates are blocking the movement from fully committing to the Rome peace forum.
Dr. De John further accused General Malong and his associates in the movement for orchestrating a “conspiracy” that led to his dismissal from the position of spokesperson.
“Despite what had happened, I will remain a member of the movement. I know that the conspiracy was orchestrated to force me to quit, but I will not leave the movement because we want to build it to be a strong movement,” he added.
James Folly, a political commentator in Institution of Rift Valley, Kenya, said, this is a political setback for the SSOMA particularly for General Thomas Cirilo who an Equatorian should know, a Dinka will not fight another Dinka.
Mr. Folly said it is a matter of time General Malong will renegotiate his return to Juba and he will be reinstated in the army to fight General Cirilo's National Salvation Front NAS, which is seen by Dinka as pro-Equatorian and Federalism.