November 23, 2017, THE RISE & FALL OF GEN. PAUL MALONG AWAN FORMER CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF OF SOUTH SUDAN ARMED FORCES (Sudan People’s Liberation Army(SPLA)!!
King Paul is one of the most powerful person in South Sudan contemporary political landscape. He started his political trickery way back in the SPLM/A civil war with then the government of Sudan. In those days, Malong was used as a tool for torturing and killing critics of the movement by Salva Kiir, the then Chief Security Officer of the SPLM/A Movement.
During the interim period of CPA implementation, Malong became the top most security officer in the autonomous Southern Region of Sudan. He then began his tribal agenda of ensuring Dinka’s hegemony over other South Sudanese tribes. He contemptously used his position to recruit security officers mainly from Northern Bhar El Ghazal(Awiel) State, Warrab State and a few from Lakes State. Nobody paid attention to this nepotic behavior from a soon to be a devil King Paul. Security sector became a no go zone for other South Sudanese. The few from other tribes in the security sector were those recruited to security organ during struggle and those recommended by trustworthy friends to King Paul. This munky business went on unnoticed by majority of government officials.
This period gave Malong and Dinka elites a platform to advance their tribal agenda and a firm grip on power.
Wholly securing organ and consequence deployment of Dinka security officers in every corner of South Sudan, Dinka’s power began to take roots. Other generals from other tribes in the army and the senior political figures soon became puppets to Dinka’s generals and senior politicians. Intimidations and threats to one’s job were the order of the day. Shady businesses of recruitment, appointment and deployment of Dinka tribemen were shamelessly carried out in everyone’s watch in the government. After ensuring that all important positions were occupied by tribally minded Dinkas, King Paul and master Kiir Mayardit, started forming parallel institutions to that of existing national institutions. Clear examples of these parallel institutions are; The formation of the notorious Jieng Council of Elders, the recruitment of Gelweng, Dotkubany and the ruthless Mathianganyoor.
The Jieng Council of Elders(JCE), mirrors a parallel cabinet ministers and parliament. The membership of JCE is drawn from all sections of Dinka and majority of them are government officials and generals from the National Army(SPLA). JCE uses national resources to fund and equip a private tribal army discussed below. In its capacity as shadow cabinet, JCE directs national budget and instructs president and Dinka generals in their daily activities aimed at agonizing other South Sudanese. JCE also acts as shadow parliament by giving President Kiir powers to do everything without consulting the National Parliament and in violation of National interim constitution. For instance; the dismissal of elected governors without holding by-elections within 60 days as stipulated in the interim constitution, the creation of the controversial 28 states and deciding on the boundaries of such states without due processes. There a long list of institutional by-passes and unconstitutional degrees by the President which are resolutions of JCE’s sittings.
The three divisions above(Gelweng, Dotkubany and Mathianganyoor) were well armed and operated independently from the national army. They were all recruited from Awiel and Warrab, the home areas of Paul Malong and Salva Kiir. This tribal troops were given strict tribal orientation with no proper training and complete lack of understanding of military rules of engagement. Their mission was merely revenge mission to kill innocent Nuer. With shoot to kill instructions, they waited mission ready for the D-day. Their base was less than 25 km away from Juba. A place called Luri, a vast land grabbed from Bari community and used as ranch by the President Kiir.
After dismissal of Dr. Riek Machar in July 2013, preparations to carry out the heinous mission went underway. The final rehearsal was to mark Nuer residential areas and houses for certainity. This concealed mission was carried out in a form of Juba cleaning up exercise by the private army from Luri. Nuer house were marked with letter N and Juba suburbs largely populated by Nuer such as Jebel, Mia Sabba and Eden residential areas were clearly identified and toured by Mathianganyoor in September 2013.
When all preparation were completed, then came the D-day when a disarmament drive of Nuer elements in Tiger (Presidential Guards ) Division was ordered. The reason for this was to arrest Dr.Riek Machar without any resistance afterwards. In case Nuer elements in Tiger resist disarmament, then a maximum force must be applied. The prepared Mathianganyoor was the ready backup for this matter. Nuer elements in Tiger indeed resisted disarmament and gun fire ensued the whole night of Sunday, December 15, 2013.
Mathianganyoor were ordered to immediately bring reinforcement. They came to Juba the same night and joined the fighting. The following day in the afternoon, Nuer elements resisting disarmament were out numbered and dislodged from the city. In the very afternoon, President Kiir ordered Mathianganyoor for house to house search targeting Nuer civilians. Being well informed and cleared about their tribal orientation, Mathianganyoor massacred Nuer civilians in their thousands. That was a big toss for King Paul and his master Kiir that evening congratulating themselves for a job well done.
Job well done indeed for the two gentlemen and JCE but was it a job well done for uniting the country? Little did the two gentlemen know that they warranted themselves so many sleepless evenings to come.
After mass killing of Nuer what next? Mending together back again a tribally and a socially torn apart South Sudan proves to be a thorny issue for duo. Using money and positions as bail, King Paul and Kiir Mayardit use enticements and baits to manipulate greed driven heartless individuals who have no national agenda in minds. However, it’s King Paul and his master Kiir bearing the burden while laden with a tedious undertaking of bringing the country back together.
When the duo fall out earlier this year, the blame of who created the country chaos became public. Their quarrel, blame and counter finger pointing became a confirmation to AU Commission of Enquiry, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and UNMISS reports. The atrocities committed against humanity in South Sudan are beyond description and the orchestrators are Malong Awan and JCE who were given a freehand by President Kiir to do what they all believe as a mean to maintain a Dinka power. King Paul has never thought of expanding is kingdom. He just needed to remain a king to Awiel and Warrab. Why then was he destroying the whole country? Oops! He was doing it for uncle Kiir to remain in power for life. It’s you are already a king in our small kingdom and help me become a king in the bigger kingdom of South Sudan. A superb family business indeed.
“A drowning man catches at straw.” The current King Paul status quo beautifully mimics this proverb. During his prime time, King Paul never want to hear UN presence in South Sudan. He always protests renewal of UNMISS mandate in South Sudan. He saw those South Sudanese in UN camps are there on holidays. He orchestrated many blockades preventing UN’s humanitarian intervention. This resulted in killing of many humanitarian aid workers by Malong to thwart UN efforts.
Now that King Paul is gigantically going to pay for all the messes he had created, the man is on record calling the very UN he so much opposed to come to his rescue. He is indeed a drowning man trying to survive by all means necessary. What a pity? The king did not want to treat others the same way he would like to be treated. Here marks the final fall of once a very powerful tribal King Paul.
I urge all South Sudanese to commemorate December 15, 2013, the day in which innocent citizens were massacred in cold blood in Juba. The day in which the first brick of hatre and disunity was laid by power greedy individuals.The year in which once a promising beautiful country was torn apart by Kiir Mayardit, King Paul and JCE. No one should bend his/her anger brought by this unfortunate hardship on any innocent South Sudanese. The few Dinka elites who are carrying out their selfish and individual interest must not be blamed on any innocent Dinka. The few Nuer who misconstrue the political reality must cease from viewing all Dinka as enemies. The same reasoning must apply to all tribes in South Sudan. Let’s all work on bring our country back to its promising look. We shouldn’t help spoilers in tearing apart our beloved country but mending it back together.
I will not forget the 15. Dec. 2013, I marked the day a black day for all South Sudan.