- President Salva Kiir addresses the nation at the South Sudan National Parliament in Juba, November 18, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomon)
“There are people talking about me all the times and I am tired of all these nonsense. If it were not because of this senseless war, I would be resting already with my family”, said the South Sudan leader.
President Kiir’s unusual statement was reportedly in response to the first lady’s request for him to reconcile with the country’s former army chief of staff, whom she described as a brother, not just a colleague.
“Kiir, [Paul Malong Awan] is your brother and if you know people who were with us. Malong is one of them. The government is big and like I heard John Garang once said, the government has so many rooms, why don’t you accommodate Malong so that all these talks are stopped”, the first lady, Mary Ayen, reportedly told the president.
The first lady is also quoted to have requested the South Sudanese leader to lead the country well, citing the role he played during the liberation struggle.
Meanwhile sources within the presidential told Sudan Tribune that the ex-chief of staff has stepped up lobbying and the use of associates to rebel in order to draw Kiir’s attention to his grievances.
“Paul Malong is using all strategies. He is using friends to rebel and talking to people to talk to the president. The family of the president, particularly his wife and his brother in law are the one championing his return to the government campaign”, a presidential aide said Sunday.
“Now someone called Manut Awek, or Manut Yel Lual and certain Kuol Athuai Hal have rebelled in Aweil. I understand he was one of the county commissioners when Malong was the governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Manut was the tax collector in Warawar. Now there has been this nonsense that Garang Chan and his group are around Juba and they will attack anytime. All are parts of the political propaganda to persuade the president to appoint Malong back into the government so that when he is appointed he will talk to them to return. These are outdated strategies”, he added.
However, the former army chief, while speaking at last week’s thanksgiving prayer service held in Kampala, Uganda advocated for dialogue, despite some of his close associates taking to the bush.