South Sudan denies defection of diplomat in Kenya

South Sudan Ambassador to Kenya Chol Ajongo discusses with Kenyan Foreign Minister Monica Juma at a reception held in Nairobi on 20 June 2018 (Photo SS Mission in Kenya)

November 5, 2018 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese embassy in Kenya Monday dismissed rumours about the defection of one of its diplomats to a rebel group led by General Paul Malong Awan.

The diplomatic mission in Nairobi was reacting to a statement circulating Sunday in the social media announcing the defection of Minister Plenipotentiary Kur Garang Deng to the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) of Gen Malong who is based in Kenya too.

Deng in his alleged statement of defection denounced the bad leadership, tribalism, lack of governance, killing of civilians and corruption. Also, in the personal statement appeared the stamp of the embassy but it was obviously photocopied from another document.

“We would like to unequivocally state that this document is not genuine and is aimed at defaming and maligning the character and name of Mr Kur Garang Deng and the Embassy in an attempt to create obstacles in his dispensation of duties at the mission,” said a statement released on Monday.

The embassy further denounced the “smear campaign” against its diplomat and pointed out that the stamp has been copied and pasted onto the document and also the document bears no signature.

Kenya hosts thousands of South Sudanese and over 115,000 refugees from South Sudan.

Also, several opposition leaders including SSUF leader Malong.

The former army chief of staff sought to join the IGAD brokered peace process but his request was declined by the regional body.

Malong accuses his old friend President Salva Kiir of objecting to his participation while other sources say the IGAD did not want to have an opposition leader who is under international sanctions.