Unseated from his throne as leader of South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) former-Army-Chief-turned-rebel General Paul Malong is said to be urging his followers to join General Thomas’ National Salvation Front aka NAS to continue the struggle to restore unity and dignity of the people of South Sudan.
The General is believed to have made the statement shortly after losing a long tribal tug-of-war with the Juba-based Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) over attempts to mobilise his people to topple the Juba regime. Experts agree that the JCE won over some Malong supporters (and killed a few others who resisted) that no one from the Jieng tribe needs to pick up a weapon and point it at another Monjieng or brother.
“If Pres Kiir loses power, we all lose power and it will go to another tribe – why would I or anyone from my tribe come out publicly and fight Kiir only to hand over that hard-won seat to someone else? Is that not the definition of stupidity?
“Yes there are problems here and there, but what I am saying is we do not have to overthrow President Kiir… or conspire with others who wish us bad just because of small-small issues that JCE can mediate. So, yes, unity of the Jieng first, keeping the seat of power at home second,” said one Kiir supporter.
A few weeks ago, Gen Malong’s group teamed up with Gen Thomas Cirillo (NAS) and Honorable Pagan Amum (Really The Real SPLM) in The Hague to sign a Declaration of Principles DOP document resulting into an alliance named South Sudan Opposition Movements (SSOM).
According to a press statement released on that day, the alliance aims at doing everything within its power (peacefully) its quest to bring about a ‘new vision of hope and transformation in South Sudan’.
Gen Malong’s unexpected appeal to his followers to join NAS comes just days after a series of well-coordinated Juba-baked and Juba-backed moves and public statements by members of his organisation announced that the Nairobi-based Gen Malong has been over-thrown.
The JCE has been known to have tried to contain Malong in every way possible as a war in Bahr El Ghazal, according to the presidential spokesman, well be disastrous to the regime.
Meanwhile, the NAS offices and branches in Egypt and Sudan are said to have started preparations to accommodate, re-educate and indoctrinate these new members with NAS’ futuristic political ideology for a peaceful South Sudan. NAS aims to restore the dignity and unity of the people through a federal system of governance that unites the people by separating/dividing/decentralising the powers.
The leadership of NAS is expected to release a statement soon, but rest assured, Saakam will be keeping you all updated as we receive more detail.