Northern Bahr el Ghazal political arch-rivals the SPLA chief of staff General Paul Malong Awan and General Dau Aturjong have decided to end their years-long political rivalry.
The two leaders this week held a community meeting in Aweil town to tell the community that differences between them have come to an end.
Speaking to the crowd in Aweil Town, Dau Aturjong said he decided to leave the armed opposition under the leadership of Riek Machar, and he vowed to work for peace. He assured the community that the differences between him and Paul Malong have been resolved, calling for peace and development in the Northern Bahr el Ghazal region.
“Today is a happy day. It is an historic day for the people of Aweil… our message is that we want to work together, we want unity,” he said, saying that a person who cleans his own house will attract people to live there.
Malong Awan, the SPLA chief of staff, also highlighted that differences between them have been resolved. Malong also appreciated general Dau for his efforts during the struggle for independence of South Sudan
“In the reality General Dau is one of the people that he was in the struggle of course. Everybody knows him. He was just absent because of a certain disappointment which we don’t want to go back to hit. And he have come back without any condition,” he said
The SPLA chief continued, “He came back to his home, he came back to his people, he came back to assure his people that ‘I’m with you and I put my grievances aside and have to work for people of Aweil, I have to work for the people of the South because he was fighting for the South he was not fighting for his own position – during the struggle.”
“So that is why we have just taken this day to be for him in Aweil to talk to his people and to be seen by his people that he is just among us and he is highly welcome,” added Malong.
Differences between the two generals arose during the general elections in 2010, when Dau Aturjong challenged Malong for the governorship and claimed that he won the elections, accusing Malong of rigging the votes.
In mid-2014, General Dau Aturjong defected to the armed rebellion under Riek Machar.
However, soon after conflict renewed in July at presidential palace, Aturjong announced his new decide to join the government and work for peace in the country. His troops re-defected to the government Aweil after crossing from neighboring Sudan. About 1500 of his troops have arrived in Northern Bahr el Ghazal region few month ago and they will be reintegrated into SPLA soon.
Parts of this report by Radio Tamazuj