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Leader of South Sudan United Front/Army or SSUF/A General Paul Malong Awan [Photo by courtesy]

Ex- SSPDF chief Malong expels coup plotters within his party

The leader of the opposition South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) General Paul Malong Awan has expelled five senior members on the pretext of plotting to oust him from the party leadership.

“The following facts have been established against the expelled members, your decision in engaging in side negotiations with the regime is a breach of the Code of Conduct for the movement,” Malong said in a statement issued on Sunday.

Those expelled include General Dickson Gatluak Joak, deputy chief of staff for administration, Guol Jal, Secretary of Agriculture, Col. Philip Deng Kuol, group spokesman, and Cde. Rambang Paul and Cde. Nyagoa Tito Biel.

They had accused Malong of incompetence and lacking the diplomatic capacity to advance interests of the party due to international sanctions imposed on him by the United States, Canada, European Union, and the United Kingdom in relation to the South Sudanese civil war.

Malong said those expelled had been engaging President Salva Kiir’s government in violation of SSUF/A’s constitution.

 “With your approach to entry into negotiations with the Juba regime is a betrayal and conspiracy from you to weaken SSUF/A and as a futile attempt to undermine the leadership, which prompted this end to take this decision,” said the former chief of staff of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).

 “Your behavior is considered unacceptable and inappropriate, and you deliberately practice this behavior with intent and you didn’t commit to stop from such behaviors,” added Malong.

President Salva Kiir fired Malong who was then the SSPDF chief of staff in April 2017 without providing reasons.

Malong proceeded to form SSUF/A which is part of the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) a coalition of opposition parties that refused to sign the 2018 revitalized peace deal.

The transitional national unity government has been engaged in talks since 2019 with SSOMA in Rome to persuade it’s members to rejoin the ongoing peace process.

The talks mediated by the Catholic community of Sant Egidio have failed to end hostilities, despite the government and hold-out oppositions groups signing cessation of hostilities agreement.

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