To: H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit,
President of the Republic of South Sudan and
Commander in Chief of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)
Ref: The Position Statement of Greater Mading Aweil Diaspora Communities, USA, Canada & Australia on the Sacking of General Paul Malong Awan
CC: Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA)
CC: Transitional Legislative Assemblies of Aweil, Aweil East, and Lol States
ENCOURAGED by the conviction and resilience of our community in the face of uncertain future in this trying times in our beloved country,
RECALLING the contribution of our community throughout the liberation history to usher in South Sudan’s statehood on 9th July, 2011,
MINDFUL of the solemn obligation to making sure South Sudan’s statehood is protected and upheld,
COGNIZANT of the shared and selfless contributions for the birth of South Sudan among all ethnic groups, large and small, rich or poor and the diversity we must cherish,
BELIEVING in the shared desire to crave for fair treatment of people irrespective of their social, economic and political weights across the country,
PROUD of our community’s important place in collective construction of a nation united in the spirit of hard work, collaboration and shared vision,
HUMBLED by the opportunity accorded to members of our community in helping defend and protect the territorial integrity of the Republic of South Sudan with undivided loyalty to the leadership and the party,
PLEASED with the achievements and commitments of our cadres such as General Paul Malong Awan and his comrades in rising to the occasion for the cause they can do best: fight for the rights of all,
AWARE of President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s constitutional prerogative to appoint and relieve any competent citizen to and from national office,
THANKFUL for the show of leadership by the Western and Eastern Lakes Governments and communities in containing the unfortunate situation,
WE, the Greater Mading Aweil Diaspora Communities in USA, Canada and Australia, hereby make the following statement in relations to the above stated issue:
At the outset, we would like to give special appreciation to the President of the Republic, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, for his long-running service to the people of South Sudan during and after the difficult war of liberation. We would also like to extend similar appreciation to all men and women in uniforms who stood firm to protect our nation from internal and external adversaries in order to preserve our nation’s sovereignty and the values we stand to uphold, especially at this historic 34th anniversary of the founding of the SPLM/SPLA.
Equally important, we likewise congratulate one of our decorated sons, General James Ajongo Mawut on his appointment as a new Army Chief of Defense of the SPLA, Madam Jackline Nyibol Ajongo on her appointment as Deputy Secretary at SPLM National Secretariat and General Dau Aturjong on his reinstitution to active service within the SPLA.
Furthermore, we would like to express our deep gratitude to the outgoing Chief of General Staff, General Paul Malong Awan for his consummate service to the nation during his tenure and in his previous assignments throughout the liberation. Gen. Malong deserves a special pat on the back or a medal of honor for having gracefully and caringly handled the delicate situation following his unceremonious discharge. He has already, in our humble view, won the admiration of many South Sudanese for such a rare demonstration of statesmanship.
Your Excellency, President Salva Kiir Mayardit,
We, the Greater Mading Aweil Diaspora Communities, feel obliged to partake in the ongoing discourse in South Sudan national crises: war, famine, and the recent near-crisis situation caused by the hasty sacking of Gen. Malong. Contrary to the popular belief, we would like to dispel the wild assumption that Aweil community is aggrieved by the sacking of General Paul Malong. This is a mischaracterization of what we, as a community, stand for. Our community holds a conviction that any appointment made from within the community or anywhere in the country is never personalized. We also believe that any appointment or relief of any competent South Sudanese to or from national office should not be perceived as community affair.
Indeed, General Malong is our son, but he is also a representative of all the people of South Sudan and this can be affirmed by the popular reception he received across the country when he returned to Juba. In terms of hearts and minds won over, we are quite sure that Gen. Malong is now richer, for he has gained more people after peaceably landing at Juba International Airport. His handling of the situation, to state the obvious, has endeared him to South Sudanese from all walks of life.
Moreover, any appointments made at the national level are the prerogative of the President who has a constitutional authority to appoint and relieve any competent citizen. As a community, we strongly urge your honest reconciliation with General Paul Malong whose decade-long comradeship is too strong to be discarded over a one-time divergence of opinions. We believe that the near-crisis involving his sacking is a considered matter of your administration and should not be allowed to be exploited by war merchants, or ethno-regional players who, by any statistical measure, are rooting against the stability of the country. We thus call for calm among our communities while urging our elders and representatives in different August Houses to stand behind the reconciliation effort so that this matter is quickly put to rest. We understand why the leadership may feel unease to letting the sacked General go to his own village for a genuine rest. However, we feel that such concerns are premised on misread historical facts about our community’s commitment to peace and harmony. Hence, and once you have reconciled with Gen. Malong Awan, it would be best to let him go and have sincere and deserved rest among his people or before his next assignment. After all Gen. Malong is still our overall community leader.
Finally, our position as a community is that of peace and integrity of the country. We call upon you, Mr. President, to allow General Malong to exercise his freedoms, including freedom of movement to any place of his choice as a responsible citizen of this country. General Paul Malong will never contemplate any act of rebellion against the State because he comes from a community that shuns and abhors any act of rebellion. In other words, unqualified limits on his freedom of movements or residence may be counterproductive and antithetical to the values we cherish as collectively expressed in our National Anthem.
On a more serious note, we urge you and your government to rally the support of every South Sudanese to help end the ongoing bloodshed in our country, rejuvenate the deteriorating economy and unite the people of South Sudan who continue to be polarized by the conflict. Together, we shall overcome!
Mr. Simon Angok – MAC-Australia President
Mr. Atelio Ater – President, Federation of Aweil Communities, Canada
Mr. Adim Malek – President, Aweil Community Association in USA