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Former South Sudan army chief says no regrets despite sanctions

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September 12, 2017 (JUBA) - The former South Sudanese army chief of staff General Paul Malong Awan said Tuesday he has no regrets for the role he played in the four-year conflict resulting in him being put on a watch list by the United States, saying he was defending the Constitution and the interest of the country.

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SPLA Chief of General Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan (C) is visiting his farms in his homeland of Warawar in Aweil East State on 7 May 2016 (Photo Moses Lomayat)

On the 6 September, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)of the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted Awan and two other government officials for their alleged role in undermining peace and stability in South Sudan.

General Awan, a former ally of President Salva Kiir told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday he was executing his duties in accordance with the Constitution and the will of the people of South Sudan.

“Yes, I was the chief of staff and the duties of the chief of staff are in the SPLA act, which is consistent and subordinate to the Constitution. I was, therefore, executing my duties as any other chief of staff do in other countries. If this is what I am blamed for, then I have no regrets. I was doing the right thing, I know. The Constitution is there; check what the duties of the chief of staff are and tell me,” said Awan.

The OFAC blamed Awan for his role in the eruption of the conflict in December 2013 saying his action led to "the indiscriminate killing of many innocent civilians" in and near Juba. Also, he was accused of planning to undermine the August 2015 peace deal ordering attacks on the SPLA-IO position in the Upper Nile state.

According to the US administration, he ordered the 10 July 2016 attack on the residence of the former FVP Riek Machar and the base of his troops in Jebel area in Juba. The OFAC said he conducted this attack "knowingly countermanding orders from President Salva Kiir". Further, the accusations included obstructing humanitarian assistance and activities of the peacekeepers.

Also, Awan denied benefiting from the war, saying he did not acquire anything new while serving as the army chief of staff.

“People who know me knows I have not acquired anything new when took over the command of the SPLA. All the things they are talks like the house in Uganda, I acquired before I became the chief of staff. It was way back, long time ago. The documents are there for people to see,” he said

The sacked general said he was now a normal citizen and should be allowed to tend to his private life than continuing to associate him with public affairs.

Last May, President Salva Kiir relieved Awan from his position as army chief and put him confinement in Juba. Recently, he denied allowing him to travel to Nairobi after the death of his daughter there.

(ST)

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  • 12 September 22:10, by lino

    Normal citizen? Why you are under house arrest?!!!

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  • 13 September 01:36, by Kush Natives

    Mr. Awan,
    You’re a man of your words, you were just executing an order from upper hand boss. I wouldn’t agree with those who’re blaming you on this. President Salva Kiir already fired you, therefore, why should United States government still running while Kiir is still there? Where is the human rights here?

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  • 13 September 05:52, by Tilo

    hahah Proud of executing your duties, does the constitution of south Sudan give right to kill innocent civilians? Lord have mercy. So you don’t regret the sanction no worries that is just the beginning, Once peace come back in SS you will be needed in ICC, I hope you can be proud to go defend urself n clear ur name in ICC.
    P’ple with no humanity n respect for human dignity re found in SS

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    • 13 September 07:37, by Newsudan

      China donated 1250 tonnes of rice to help South Sudan while American donated sanctions, a village man can understand that China is friendly country, US is fourth beast on earth(Daniel) that will trampled down the whole world, Iraq,Syria,Libya,Ukraine, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, CAR,Somalia, N Korea nuclear crises and now in south Sudan.

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      • 13 September 12:26, by Majesty

        Newsudan,
        Some under informed people may read what you say as true. Let list some and they can decide for themselves what a friend is or should be. Americans supplies about 25% of UN and people of South Sudan for many decades have been beneficiaries, this year, 2017 alone Americans have already spent about $750 million on South Sudanese.
        ......

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        • 13 September 12:33, by Majesty

          Americans discovered oil in South Sudan 1978 and refused to mine it because it will benefit only Khartoum, they educate John Garang and many, they supplied SPLA with tanks and millions of dollars in late 1994 through Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
          .....

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          • 13 September 12:37, by Majesty

            without Americans support thru CPA, today independence South Sudan was unlikely, perhaps we may still be at war with Khartoum NiF. American spent about $250 millions dollars to build Nimule-Juba highway, etc.

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        • 13 September 13:51, by Newsudan

          Majesty
          then, what is the use of this sanctions if not intimidation and neocolonialism.

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          • 13 September 14:14, by Tilo

            The reason for sanction is because South Sudanese leaders are not for peace they are for war so that they can enrich them selves. therefore all the warmonger must face sanction and imprisonment otherwise this was will never end anytime sooner

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      • 13 September 15:32, by ed moses

        Just you said China donated 1250 tones of rice?.
        This is how you identify the friendly country?.
        I think you looking short term help like, please wake up we need long term help, people of S. Sudan are hard worker, they need a friend who will push to bring peace, and yes they need food for now, but if there is peace they can do there own farms, need peace, peace.
        China can supply food, weapon to

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  • 13 September 07:27, by Lenin Bull

    The US sanctions on Malong, Makuei, and Malek are a strategy to weaken Kiir’s government and cause internal conflict that can explode into another Dinka-Dinka war and finally the collapse of the government. No thing wrong these gentlemen have committed in the course of the current war created by Dr.Riek and the West in South Sudan.

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  • 13 September 07:32, by Lenin Bull

    The US indirectly wants Malong to rebel and fight Kiir. They want Makuei to run away from Kiir and stop being vocal in defending the government programs and activities. Malek is targeted so that the SPLA is not professionalized and armed to defend the country. These US sanctions are simply " les ruses de guer."

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    • 13 September 13:33, by jubaone

      Lenin Bullshit,
      I see your bitterness as the three "jienge generals" are direct targets of US sanctions. They are culpable and are architects of the jienge republic. Funny though, these ungrateful SPLA fugitives forgot that it was the US that babysitted and wiped clean their "a****" 21 yrs long and successfully defended them against the jellaba. This are "chicken brains", amnesia and sickening

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  • 13 September 07:38, by Lenin Bull

    If the US was such serious and meaning well about its sanctions in South Sudan, why did they leave out Simon Gatwech Dual who used to give military orders in Nuer Language not to leave anything alive in any town they attacked, Gathoth Gatkuoth who burned down Malakal town and killed all civilians in Malakal, Baliet, and Gelachol,Peter Gadet, James Kong Chol, Wesley Welebe killing civilians in Equa

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  • 13 September 07:43, by Lenin Bull

    Gen.Wesley Welebe killing innocent civilians along the high ways in Equatoria, etc? The US is simply playing with our intelligence as people of South Sudan. Why does the US know all that is happening/does by the government side but professes ignorance of rebel atrocities/war crimes? Any way patriotic South Sudanese people should go ahead with their nation building and defense of its sovereignty.

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  • 13 September 07:50, by Lenin Bull

    Congratulations King Paul for rubbishing UN sanctions. The US has never sanctioned its own Generals that committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Irag, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, etc. The US is simply bullying South Sudan government and people. Riek Machar is currently commanding and ordering war in his five star hotel room in RSA and US is dumb about it!!

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  • 13 September 08:54, by Jongo

    Hardship Paul no regret will not safe you now it’s coming to your FAMILY maybe the whole family will vanish listen to your conscious your are not longer in position of power come forward & apologize to the people of South Sudan for the evil doing & killing the people you killed their blood, soul will follow you forever please pay attention & confess maybe God forgive you but not forgotten

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  • 13 September 10:56, by John Wetjunub

    You are absolutely right king Paul, because you were defending the nation from both external and internal enemies and if some people were expecting you to allows rebels to over run the country then they are wrong. you have nothing to worry you at all. congratulation for your response to the call. You are our next president come 2018 election.

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  • 13 September 13:19, by Majesty

    Western sanctions are nothing in Africa esp to those who are not insecure. But that’s the thing, you can become a victim if you are working with cowards and backstabbers.

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