October 14, 2018 (JUBA) – Former South Sudanese army chief of staff Paul Malong strongly denied allegations of embezzlement of public funds or committing atrocities against civilians during the five-year civil war in the country.
A recent documentary released by The Sentry once again reiterated accusations against Malong who is under UN and US sanctions about his wealth and his involvement in the war crimes during the conflict.
In a 25 minute interview with the Kenya Citizen TVreleased on Sunday, Malong further said he didn’t take advantage from his position as Governor of Northern Bahr El-Ghazal or profited from his position when he was the chief of staff.
“They did not tell us where I got the money,” he said. He further said the documentary and those who accused him have to prove that he has stolen money, give the details of these accounts and the country where these funds are deposited
“I’m not a rich man I’m just taking care of myself and my family. I have nothing,” he said.
“Northern Bahr El-Ghazal is not an oil producing state and everybody knows that,” so why the accuse me, he wondered.
Regarding the time when he was the army chief of staff, he said the minister of defence is the one who plans the army budget while the chief of staff is the implementer.
I use what is given to me for certain jobs that I’m going to do. if people say I took the tents and sold them that may be, I took ammunition and guns and sold them that may be, (…) but I do not get cash,” he said.
The same for the war crimes and atrocities, Malong said he executed the orders he received from his military hierarchy the army commander in chief President Salva Kiir.
“I was not operating independently,” he repeated.
Also, he dismissed any responsibility for the killing of civilians in Juba following the clashes at the South Sudanese presidency in July 2016.
“During the J1 fight, I was in control of the army more than any time,” he said stressing that the clashes ended at Jebel Kogor.
When asked about the rape of women in Juba, he said it was done by security soldier but not his army.
“I know what happened. It was in one of the hotels and one of the ladies said that the person who had raped her is an agent of security soldier and his name was written,” he said.
On the UN sanction, Malog said “they are missing the point. If they speak about the cause of the war, the cause of war is Salva and Machar. Whatever I did in the army was just orders,” he said again.
The old friend of the South Sudanese president avoided criticising Salva Kiir for his sack from the position of the army chief of staff.
However, Malong said that he was disappointed when Kiir accused him of asking Kenyan, Ugandan presidents and even Ethiopian prime minister to support him to overthrow Salva Kiir.
The South Sudanese tycoon Lawrence Lual Malong Yor Jr. took part in the interview to explain that General Malong was not his father and he is not his relative.
He and General Malong said they would pursue those who continue to repeat such claims in order to prove the corruption of the former South Sudanese official.