Nov. 4, 2017, Tensions rise in Juba as Malong’s bodyguards refuse to surrender guns
Military tensions in the South Sudanese capital, Juba jumped another notch Saturday night, after the bodyguards of detained former army chief Paul Malong refused to surrender their guns.
General Paul Malong has been under house arrest in Juba since May after President Salva Kiir removed him following resignations by top generals over alleged ethnic bias in the military.
A relative of Malong who preferred anonymity told Radio Tamazuj that the bodyguards refused to be disarmed by the government, pointing out that tension was high in Juba.
“More government forces have been deployed. I have seen tanks also near Malong’s house. The newly deployed troops could reach 400,” he said.
“We are praying so that the situation could be controlled because it is not easy to disarm soldiers forcibly, and I heard that a security meeting chaired by Kiir resolved to disarm Malong by force. Our people need people, so we want the international community to intervene,” he added.
He further said the heavily-armed soldiers blocked the main road leading to Malong’s house and refused to allow any vehicle to move in order to bring food and water to people at home.
“Nothing was allowed to be brought to the general from outside today (Saturday). They said cars are not allowed to leave the house, even water tanker was not allowed to bring water,” he said.
Meanwhile, several local residents in Juba expressed fear that clashes could erupt at any time in the capital if the mounting tension between President Kiir and his former army chief of general staff Paul Malong is not controlled.