General Paul Malong Awan, the former SPLA chief of general staff, left Juba on Tuesday and headed for his home area in Aweil through Eastern Lakes state, where he stopped in Yirol town, and held a “successful meeting” with the governor of Eastern Lakes Bor Wutchok, APA can report.Paul Malong Awan, who angrily left Juba with his bodyguards shortly after being removed from his position by President Kiir on Tuesday evening, is now expected to return to Juba, a local official said Wednesday.
“The governor, Bor Wutchok held a meeting with Gen. Paul and the meeting was successful. The meeting concluded that Gen. Paul should not proceed to Aweil, he will be here in Yirol so that people can try again so that he can return to Juba,” head of the Eastern Lakes’ parliamentary committee of information Marial Amum announced.
“Gen. Paul will return back to Juba, if he fails to return to Juba today, I am sure he will return tomorrow, “ he added.
Amum said the former chief of general staff was not planning to rebel against the current government in Juba.
“You see, even his convoy can prove that; he is having two Land Cruiser vehicles, one with guns and the other vehicle is empty.
“I think Paul was not happy, but people talked to him and he has accepted to return; he will continue with his talks with the president in Juba,” Amum continued.
South Sudan’s presidency and SPLA spokesman said Wednesday morning that Paul Malong Awan decided to withdraw from Juba with his security guards shortly after being replaced with Gen. James Ajongo Mawut, but he was not planning for war.
Meanwhile, the newly-appointed army general chief of staff has been sworn into office. Gen. James Ajongo Mawut took his oath at the Presidential palace at on Wednesday morning.
Speaking to journalists shortly after being sworn, Gen Mawut called for calm and promised to work towards restoring peace in South Sudan.
It would be recalled that the official South Sudan Television and Radio separately broadcast the presidential decrees announcing the appointment of Gen. James Ajongo Mawut, as the new chief of general staff.
The decree signed by President Salva Kiir on Tuesday removed Paul Malong Awan as the South Sudanese army’s chief of general staff.
The new chief of general staff until his appointment was a deputy chief of general staff for administration.
Malong, a strong ally of Kiir, was perceived by many as a hardliner in the current government in Juba.
No reason was given for the new changes in the top army leadership, although many people attribute the cause to mounting military tensions in Juba, where there has been a heavy deployment of troops in recent days.