South Sudan Soldiers Besiege General’s Home

South Sudan’s capital Juba was last weekend tense as state forces laid siege to the premises of powerful former military chief Paul Malong while bidding to disarm his bodyguards. Local and foreign journalists alike reported on how the city had turned into a ghost town, with many preferring to stay at home for fear of being caught in the crossfire. In a press statement, Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek confirmed the incident, asserting it was just another routine operation which shouldn’t raise eyebrows. President Salva Kiir had five days earlier signed a decree warranting the arrest and disarming of Malong’s bodyguards, which also detailed that any resistance must replicate with reasonable force. The motive behind the directive is yet to be established.
Malong, a military chief whose tenure was stopped in May, comes from the same Dinka community as the president. He has been indicted as the mastermind behind the July 2016 clashes which sabotaged the power-sharing regime which had been effected earlier to some level of success. His dismissal had raised concerns amongst natives that it would initiate clashes between his supporters in government and
the President’s loyalists.
Since the beginning of the armed conflict back in 2013, most residents in Juba have been forced to remain indoors for days on end because fighting now erupts at any time without warning in the town.


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