Paul Malong suffers blow as own SSUF/A splits into two

By William Madouk

The South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) led by Gen. Paul Malong Awan has suffered military and political blow as his own movement split into two factions, with a new breakaway SSUFA-Nairobi led by Gen. Dickson Gatluak.

Breakaway South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A), dubbed as “Nairobi Declaration” on Monday officially installed Gen. Dickson Gatluak as leader of the faction, who announced his new interim leadership.

In a statement seen by this outlet, Gatluak is seen as Chair and Supreme Commander and cited powers given to him by Political and Military Command Councils to establish leadership of the splinter group.

“I Gen. Dickson Gatluak Jock Nyuot, the Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) do hereby declare the formation of Interim Leadership of SSUF/A- Nairobi Declaration on this date Feb. 6th, 2023,” the statement read in part.

Gatluak appointed Marine Anier Dhuol as deputy chairman in supreme leadership council, Loro Befo Modhilggor as Chief of Defense forces and Brig-Gen Buay Kandong Liem as chief Security the order took effect on Monday.

He also appointed Maj-Gen Khamis Silvano as Chief of general staff in military command council, Maj-Gen Tut Wechtour deputy chief for training & research, Maj-Gen Kone Pech Reath deputy for administration and finance.

Other includes; Brig-Gen Amos Kuol Puok for logistic and Col. Philip Deng Kuol as military spokesman.

According to SSUF/A- Nairobi Declaration, after the announcement of leadership they will soon initiate a ‘homegrown’ talk with the government for a solution to the conflict.

“We will soon (with) our leadership (create) separate initiative with the government, it’s not associating with Rome talks but a homegrown dialogue,” Kuol said.

It all started last week, when a group of dissident generals and senior members of SSUFA/A, dubbed as ‘Nairobi Declaration’ ousted Awan and citing readiness for a peace talk with Kiir’s administration.

“We have taken over the leadership of the South Sudan United Front/Army (SS-UF/A) and agreed enormously to dismiss General Paul Malong Awan from the movement. “And opted to embrace the spirit of a homegrown political dialogue with the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGONU), under the leadership of H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit,” the group said in 5 page statement. 

However, Gen. Awan kicked out the renegade general behind his expulsion and accused them of ‘betrayal and conspiracy to weaken the party’.

Nonetheless his order was defied by Gatluak stating that Awan cannot dismiss him.  

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