To: His Excellency – Lt. General Salva Kiir Mayardit
President of Republic of South Sudan
Dear President Salva Kiir:
Sub: Position Statement of Mading Aweil Communities:
Re…Current State of Affairs Surrounding Gen. Paul Malong Awan Anei, Former- Army (SPLA) Chief of General Staff in Juba – Republic of South Sudan.
- We the leaders of Mading Aweil Diaspora Communities across the continents in Australia, Canada, USA and Egypt are writing to present our unified voice calling for the release of Gen. Paul Malong.
- We are very much concerned about the direction of our beloved homeland, South Sudan under your administration Mr President. Of notable concern is the unfolding humanitarian crisis – mass exodus of civilian populations due to reason of insecurity and the shortage of basic necessities of life.
- Media reports indicate they are moving daily in their hundreds into refugee camps in neighboring countries at an alarming rate (not to mention the thousands seeking refugee in the UN camps across major cities of Southern Sudan). Mr President if this trend continues, you will almost have no one left to govern.
- However, we are above all troubled by the news that the safety of our beloved son of Mading Aweil, Gen Paul Malong Awan Anei is in grave danger in Juba today because you have signed a presidential decree, which could lead to destruction of Gen Malong’s life.
- Mr President six months ago you exercised your constitutional right as the democratically elected President of Republic of South Sudan to remove Gen. Paul Malong from the post you had earlier appointed him to as, Sudan People Liberation Army’s (SPLA) Chief of General Staff.
- Next you gave orders to stop and blocked his passage and prevented him from returning to his home in Aweil. Gen Malong was then ordered return to Juba against his wish.
- Later you placed Gen Malong under house arrest without making Public any charges. (He doesn’t know the reasons for his detention). It has been 6 months. Yet not a single charge has been laid.
- Mr. President, notably in that period Gen Malong suffered significant personal tragedies and losses including the tragic loss of his daughter Alakiir Malong in a fire incident in Kenya. Yet no compassion was shown. Instead Gen Malong was band from traveling to collect the body of or attending his child’s burial, a very heartless act to do to someone who has been as loyal to you as Gen Malong.
- Then when his health and general wellbeing become compromised from the stress he has been placed under you showed no regards. His health declined was so profound that he needed urgent medical attention, yet he was denied the right to travel abroad for treatment.
- Mr. President you did not stop there. On top of the above litany of errors you declared a state of emergency in one of the most peaceful states in South Sudan, Awiel East (Gen Malong’s home
area). Then you signed a decree on the 30/10/2017, which would give justification for the Army to shoot to kill Gen Paul and his bodyguards if they resisted.
11. Conspicuously Mr President this seems timed to coincide with your planned trip to Khartoum to go sign off on an Agreement with President El-Bashir of Sudan.
12. Remarkably Mr. President this is the same agreement of 2012 which we the people of Mading Awiel Community rejected on the grounds that this agreement literally gives away a piece of our precious Dinka Malual territory, the so called “Mile 14” to nomadic tribes of Sudan.
13. Mr. President our community was never consulted back then, and still not consultation again this time around (constitution of South Sudan gives the land title to the community). Is the reason Gen Malang’s life in Juba is at risk today because he was the only person who is capable of challenging your decision about “Mile 14”?
14. All the above articulated actions and/or inactions on your part Mr President are all acts which constitute infringement and/or violations of rights of an individual citizen of a country called South Sudan that you happen to be the president of. These rights are enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan -RSS (same constitution which upholds your presidency even though you do not seem to uphold rights of others like Malong to procedural justice).
15. As such Mr President, this despicable denial of someone their basic rights under the constitution of the ROSS is not simply a miscarriage of justice on your part, but also it is sending a message to the masses of South Sudanese that the President and his administration have no regards to the rule of law, human dignity or self-worth.
16. Mr. President, we the people of Aweil know, since effective governance requires the adoption of specific policies and the enactment of precise laws, the administrative and legislative organs of the State must select among competing views within the massive and complex corpus of social, economic and legal policies to adequately address the current challenges that our nation is facing
17. Mr. President, we people of Aweil know that the term constitutional governance refers to the set of principles that limit and control the powers of government in accordance with the fundamental rights of citizens and communities, as well as the rule of law to ensure that the relationship between individuals and the State is regulated by cleared and defined legal principles and governance application rather than the despotic will of a ruling elites.
18. Hence based on the above articulation of key point Mr. President it is the wish of Mading Aweil Diaspora community to draw your attention to previous correspondences between your office and the Greater Mading Awiel Diaspora community, which went unanswered.
19. The community previously asked your Excellency in more than one occasion in writing to heed the appeal from the Mading Awiel community to allow Gen. Malong to leave Juba for the relative safety of his homeland Mading Awiel, but these pleas were ignored.
20. At this juncture, the position of our community, in relation to Gen Paul Malong Awan, is that; as it stands the community holds you personally responsible for his health and wellbeing should anything untoward happen to him.
21. In other words, if Gen Malong dies today in Juba, then we the Aweil community will hold you personally responsible for his blood. We will also hold you responsible for bloods of those other people from Mading Awiel whom we are told are now detained for speaking out in Juba some of whom have already died reportedly beaten to death by the security operatives of Akol Kor.
22. Mr President our community has sensed a systematic targeting of our community figures, which started during the years of struggle, early on with Benjamin Bol Akok, George Kuach and many others all of whom were murdered in cold blood when you were head of the Intelligence of SPLA. We sort have known all along who has been targeting out community (you can no longer deny it). This has got to stop right now.
- Gen Malong has been a loyal son to our nation and a loyal servant to the SPLA/M and to your administration. Is this how you repay some one who has not just done you a favour, but have saved your life not once, or twice but three times.
- This should serve as warning to all other people from Mading Awiel community who are part of your current administration be they senior public servants, or even political advisors. There is no one else from Aweil who is going to eclipse the amount of loyalty Malong has shown you over the years, whom you have not just thrown by way side, but you also tried to end his life.
- We are all followers and keen observers of South Sudanese politics. Malong had never been a threat to your presidency. On the contrary he has worked diligently and tirelessly to defend the constitution and in service of the nation he so truly believes-in and loves. But you Mr President betrayed his trust and the trust of the people Mading Awiel community back home and in Diaspora.
- As a community you lost our trust when you issued your recent decree which places safety and welfare of Gen Malong at-risk. Mr President you also lost our trust when you signed off on an agreement will leads to annexation of Dinka Malual land, so call “Mile 14”.
- Otherwise Mr President we urge you please to fix things and save our country/nation from the imminent risk of descending into its demise. We call for the unconditional release of Gen Paul Malong. You do not need to plunge this country into further trouble more than it already is. That is exactly what you are doing by prolonging the unlawful detention of Gen Paul Malong since you are not able to charge him. He was never your adversary and you should not turn him into one now.
- Mr. President, the people of Aweil in Australia, Canada, USA and Egypt strongly condemns the incident in which armed militias under the tutelage of Mr. Akol Kor, the Director of National Security, were brought to attack the resident of Gen. Paul Malong. This is unjustifiable and clear misuse of power by your government.
- Furthermore this incident underscores the brutality and callousness of the policies of your government towards the people of Aweil which has been proceeding on and off for months.
- Here thereto, Mr. President, there is a tension between the reality of National Security under the guidance of Mr. Akol Kor and the people of Aweil in Juba.
- For instance Mr. President we are getting reports of our people, the people of Aweil being subjugated to all sorts of discriminations, arbitrary arrest, humiliation, intimidation, abuse and disappearance in Juba nowadays.
- To save the nation, you need to free Gen Paul Malong immediate and release all other political detainees. You also need to work for the democratic transformation. Your administration has been at the helm and we have not seen any clear nation building plan/project.
- First and for most, Mr. President your administration has clearly outlived its mandate and has lost its way. You should utilize the national dialogue as the platform from which you to start working for peace reconciliation.
- Second to that our people are languishing various refugee comps in neighboring countries. We have become the laughing stalk of the region and the world and especially “Sudan”. This is humiliating. According to sources in the Sudanese media, hundreds of people are fleeing from our country into Sudan (Sudanese Government figures estimates the Number of South Sudanese registered/known to date is estimated to be around 1.3 million people).
- Third and finally you need open up the national dialogue process in order to more transparent and inclusive to pave way for a collaborative consensus building exercise which is robustly comprehensive and representative of all South Sudanese political parties, civil society organizations, churches and charities and community groups. It also needs to have the support of international and regional entities like the IGAD, African Union, United Nations and the Carter Centre to mention a few.
Mr. Simon H. Angok
President, Aweil Community in Australia
Mr. Atileo A. Deng
President, Aweil Community in Canada
Mr. Adim M. Puot
President, Aweil Community in USA
Mr. Garang Wel Aleu
Greater Mading Aweil Community in Arab Republic of Egypt