January 15, 2018 (JUBA) – The associates of former South Sudan’s chief of staff, Paul Malong Awan, have called for an uprising to remove President Salva Kiir from power, claiming the latter was using divide and rule policy to consolidate his regime.
Kuol Athuai Hal, former Aweil Northern County commissioner who also served in different capacities in the Northern Bahr el Ghazal government including an adviser for peace in the state government run by Awan when he was its governor, told Sudan Tribune on Monday that the country would never be in peace and stability if President Kiir is not removed from power.
“We have decided to take up arms because we have come to the conclusion that the government of Salva Kiir is specialized in colliding people. Maybe today he will come up with a story and say Lieutenant General Agany is good and Kuol Athuai is bad, and tomorrow he will turn around and say Agany has something he wants to do and Kuol Athuai has changed and become good. This is the government which can’t allow people to be mentally comfortable,” said Athuai Hal.
“The best way for the people of South Sudan is to rise up in order to dismantle that government in order to return peace and stability to the country. If that government of Salva Kiir and his friends is left, South Sudan will never see a light,” he added.
South Sudanese government officials now openly accuse the Gen Awan and of rebellion. Also, his supporters are accused of joining armed groups while reports circulate about coordination with armed groups.
These developments come at a time the regional peace mediators have launched last December a process to revitalize the implementation of a peace agreement since in August 2015.
Kuol confirmed he and Lieutenant Colonel Manut Yel Lual, Major Diing, 1st Lt Bulo, 1st Athian had joined South Sudan Patriotic army under the overall command of Lieutenant General Agany Abdel Bagi Ayii Akol, a rebel movement fighting to topple the government in Juba.
He went further to say they are not alone in their decision to rebel against the government of President Kiir which they defended for long years.
” A lot of people are coming,” he said.
“So that we move and work together to remove and dismantle the government of Salva Kii,” he stressed adding “We declared to him from the day we came to consider us of dotbai (rescue home),” he said referring the name of the movement in local name.
The former county commissioner said the name was fitting because they want to rescue the country from disintegration into ethnic enclaves because as a result of the policy implemented by the government led by President Kiir.
Officials in Juba say the former chief of staff and his supporters have no cause but for personal interests and their desire to have power. They also warn opposition groups that are part of the IGAD forum from supporting them.