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South Sudan Front says Malong is not affected by the split

South Sudan's former army chief Paul Malong addresses the media after returning to the South Sudan's capital of Juba, on May 13, 2017 (Reuters photo)
October 8, 2018 (JUBA) - The South Sudan United Front (SSUF) led by Gen Paul Malong has swiftly minimised the importance of a split by a faction led by the deputy chairman of its section in Sudan saying it would not affect their struggle and for change in the country.

On Sunday William Ezekiel Kujo Deng issued a statement saying that the SSUF leadership decided in a meeting held on 2 October to sack General Paul Malong from the chairmanship of the group and designated him as an interim chair.

In a statement issued, on Monday, the chairperson of the SSUF Sudan said William was isolated and had no impact on the structures of the group.

"William Ezekiel was effectively a deputy head of the SSUF-Sudan, but his membership was frozen with several members of the office in Sudan after individual attempts to reach out the government in order to return to South Sudan or to have a job," said a statement in Arabic signed by Omer Isaac Mohamed the chairperson of SSUF-Sudan.

The statement further said Ezekiel was encouraged by some members to steal the stamp and headed paper before to write the statement relieving Malong from his position.

The SSUF is the latest political group to be formed in South Sudan in April 2018. The group was not part of the revitalized peace forum.

The mediation didn’t accept its participation in the peace process because its leader is on the lists of sanctions by the United States and the United Nations. Also, Malong accuses South Sudanese President Salva Kiir of pressing the mediation to reject him.

Omer said despite this situation they supported the revitalized peace agreement even if they maintain their demand for a comprehensive process.

"We have never declared that we are against peace or stability in South Sudan. But, we have always appealed to the Government and all the parties to establish a comprehensive peace in which no one can be excluded," he said.

He further pointed to a statement the SSUF issued on 14 September about the revitalized peace agreement saying they support the statement of the Troika countries on the peace deal especially that the agreement may fail due to the large gaps between the parties and the omission of some of the root causes of the conflict.

The IGAD brokered agreement until now affected the opposition groups that are not involved in the process or rejected it.

The mediation still didn’t define an approach to integrate the non-signatories.