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South Sudan ex-army chief forms rebel group

April 9, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s former army chief of staff has formed a rebel movement, underscoring mounting resistance to the rule of incumbent president Salva Kiir.

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Former South Sudan army chief of staff, General Paul Malong Awan speaks at the presidential palace in Juba, November 16, 2017 (ST)

General Paul Malong Awan announced on Monday formation of South Sudan United Front, declaring it as a means through which he would work with compatriots to establish strong institutions than strongmen.

“Our movement is a just and urgent call to our compatriots and a struggle to first arrest the carnage that has befell our country and secondly to steer us towards democracy and development , which are the cornerstones of nationhood, an African nationhood of democracy , development, equal citizenry, justice and freedom”, Awan announced through a statement released to the public.

Awan charged President Salva Kiir as having built a country where total impunity is the order.

“Our movement seeks to reverse this. We must build our nationhood around strong institutions and not strongmen. Strong institutions will outlive all of us and guarantee the prosperity of our nation. This is what we yearn for in our country”, said Awan.

Relations between Awan and President Kiir deteriorated after the former was sacked from his post as Army Chief of Staff in May 2017 and placed under house arrest for fear he would foment a rebellion.

Awan was freed in November following mediation led by the Jieng Council of Elders. The agreement refrained him from going to his home-town of Aweil in the former Northern Bahr el-Ghazal State, but he was free to travel to any East Africa country.