Thursday May 25, 2017

Malong refused to board a plane that should have taken him back to Juba today – Reports

Bith Jonathan

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JUBA – South Sudan’s deposed former army Chief Gen. Malong Awan Anei, who has since yesterday staged a “tie lipped rebellion” after being embarrassingly removed by his C in C, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has reportedly refused to board a chartered plane despite talking to President Salva Kiir Mayardit twice on the phone before jumping of the plane in Yirol.

According to SPLA sources in Yirol, the deposed army chief briefly boarded a chartered helicopter that was sent to pick him up in Yirol where he has been in the last 24 hours.

“He was on board the aircraft and the aircraft was just waiting for clearance from the ground staffs of the airport, but suddenly a call came from somewhere. Malong then decided to change his mind. He went out telling the captain of the plane that he was going to receive an important call. The plane waited for an hour until instructions came from Juba ordering the plane to come back quickly” – A military ground staff conferred to the Upper Nile Times.

State officials who also spoke to The Upper Nile Times said that “Malong might have had a change of mind.”

“We don’t know if something angered him while he was on the phone on the plane or someone told him from Juba not to come. We surely don’t know, but we hope that something can be worked out”- a state official said.

Gen Malong was aiming to go to his homestead of Aweil, but the governor of Eastern Lakes, Governor Bor Philip and a group of Yirol elders convinced him to go back to Juba and to “not declare any rebellion that could spill innocent Dinka blood.” Malong had since heeded to the call and agreed to go back. The quick change of mind not to board the military helicopter to Juba has been a major setback this evening.

AWEIL CIVILIANS NOT HAPPY WITH MALONG’S REMOVAL

Civilians in Aweil were angered by the abrupt removal of General Malong and wanted answers. Since early in the morning, protests were held across the town denouncing the leadership of Salva Kiir for “humiliating” their son. There were also crowds waiting for Malong to greet him at Aweil freedom square thinking that Malong was actually on his way to Aweil. Crowds were heard shouting “down down Salva Kiir”

 

THE UPPER NILE TIMES

Bith Jonathan
Bith Jonathan is an award-winning journalist and columnist. He holds a bachelor's degree in mass media and journalism from the prestigious kenyan school of mass media.

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