Aweil government cracks down on alleged Malong’s loyalists
Top Aweil government officials including the state assembly’s speaker have been arrested and detained by the state government accusing them of being sympathizers to the newly declared rebel leader and former army chief Paul Malong.
Santino Manut Yiel, a former official and now a commander of the rebel South Sudan Patriotic Movement told Radio Tamazuj on Friday that many people have been arrested since the announcement of Malongs’ movement.
“There is information that people working for the government in Aweil have been arrested including the current state speaker Deng Ayom and 5 others and one woman MP Anguet Anei Ajuong. Since Malong announced his rebellion, many people have been accused and many others arrested and these are people working in the government. The government says these people are affiliated to Malong,” Manut said.
Others detained include Aweil Urban MP Santino Mayuat Ngong, former minister of water resources and irrigation Bakheit Garang, former county commissioner of Aweil West Garang Kuach Ariath, and secretary general and former Aweil Town Mayor Simon Tong Deng.
Government officials contacted to comment on the matter declined.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the three governors of Aweil East, Aweil and Lol States met in Aweil East and vowed to work together to promote peaceful coexistence and harmony across the region. Governor Deng Deng Akuei of Aweil East State downplayed Malong’s defection saying it is insignifficant.
“At the moment, there is no concern in terms of security and we don’t expect any change. This is a unique community bounded by these common values that advocate living in harmony. So the conduct and actions of an individual family member will not have a significant impact,” Deng said.
Malong who hails from Aweil is a former governor of former Northern Bahr el Ghazal State since independence till 2014 when he was appointed SPLA chief of general staff. In 2017 he was fired and only this week announced his a new armed movement, the South Sudan United Front.