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South Sudan president claims war keeping him in power

December 31, 2017 (JUBA)- South Sudan President Salva Kiir claimed on Sunday war has continued to keep him in the affairs of the country against his will and the family.

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President Salva Kiir addresses the nation at the South Sudan National Parliament in Juba, November 18, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomon)

“There are people talking about me all the times and I am tired of all these nonsense. If it were not because of this senseless war, I would be resting already with my family,” said President Kiir.

He was reacting to a question asked by his wife in which she asking him to reconcile with the former army chief of staff, Paul Malong Awan, describing the later as more than a colleague but a brother.

“Kiir, Malong is your brother and if you know people who were with us, Malong Awan is one of them. The government is big and like I heard John Garang once said, the government has so many rooms, why don’t you accommodate Malong so that all these talks are stopped,” said Mary Ayen, president Kiir’s wife.

The first lady asked the president to lead the country well like he was fighting during the liberation war.

Presidential sources told Sudan Tribune that the former chief of staff has escalated lobbying and use of associates to rebel as a way to draw the attention of the president to his grievances.

“Paul Malong is using all strategies. He is using friends to rebel and talking to people to talk to the president. The family of the president, particularly his wife and his brother in law are the one championing his return to the government campaign,” a presidential aide told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

“Now someone called Manut Awek, or Manut Yel Lual and certain Kuol Athuai Hal have rebelled in Aweil. I understand he was one of the county commissioners when Paul Malong was the governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Manut was the tax collector in Warawar. Now there has been this nonsense that Garang Chan and his group are around Juba and they will attack anytime. All are parts of the political propaganda to persuade the president to appoint Malong back into the government so that when he is appointed he will talk to them to return. These are all outdated strategies,” said the source.

The former chief of staff while speaking at the thanksgiving prayer services in Kampala last week denied pursuing war but advocated for dialogue, despite some of his close associates taking to the bush.

Awan was sacked from his position after reports by the intelligence service accusing him of plotting to overthrow Kiir, particularly when Kiir accepted to sign the IGAD-brokered peace agreement in August 2015.

(ST)