Former SPLA Chief of General Staff Gen. Paul Malong is preconditioning that a regional protection force – preferably from Kenya – be present in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, before he sets foot there.
His firing on Tuesday came amidst rumours of infighting within Pres. Kiir’s government. Just hours after his sacking that was broadcasted on national TV, Gen. Malong reportedly left the capital city in a convoy of a few hundred militia, leaving behind many civilians and observers worried and afraid that he was off to rebel against the government which many believe he was its backbone.
Since then, there have been numerous calls to have him return to Juba – no one knows (until now, why that is so important).
According to reports, a plane was dispatched on Thursday to collect the General from Yirol, a town to the North of South Sudan where his convoy of tribal militia was transiting, but the 8-seater caravan plane returned without the general and his 100+ force.
“The plane was either too small, or he knows too well what it means to come to Juba without an army of well-armed and very angry soldiers… For God sake, he planned, produced and directed the J1 episode of the Machar’s coup series… I am sure he knows what awaits him,” said one his aspiring biographers.
While the public has been asked to remain calm, many still wonder why Juba is so keen on having Gen Paul Malong, who said he just wants to go to his village and tend to his cows, return to Juba.
“Rumours circulating the social media is that he left with the launch codes of the SPLA nuclear weapons, and that the SPLA safe – where money is stored – can only be unlocked with his finger-prints…”
Saakam was unable to reach Ateny Wek, the spokesperson of the President for comments, but his answering machine said “They will go and come back, all of them…”
“Without a protection force in Juba, I am not setting these feet of mine (pointing to his left dusty army boot) in Juba. I know Juba very well, and this small plane cannot even fit my wives, let alone my bodyguards,” said General Malong.
We shall, as always, keep you updated.