Suspense over Malong’s release

Gen. Malong [third from right] pose with leaders after a meeting at his house | Photo | Bol Deng

The Press Secretary in the Office of the President says he cannot confirm or deny reports that the former Chief of General Staff, Paul Malong, has been released from house arrest.

This morning, various media houses quoted the wife of General Malong as saying that he has been allowed by the government to leave the country on medical grounds.

Lucy Ayak told the VoA and Radio Tamazuj that some of the elders that were involved in the negotiations informed General Malong that he is free to leave the country.

She also said the elders said the bodyguards of General Malong have been directed to return to their various units in the army.

However, Ateny Wek Ateny told Eye Radio that he has not been officially informed of the release of Malong.

“I cannot confirm the information online as to one of the South Sudanese elders, and I’ve not yet got the information from the official side,” Ateny stated.

He stressed that as of Thursday, the elders were still engaged in negotiations between the government and General Paul Malong.

Ateny said he cannot, at the moment, verify whether General Malong has been released or not.

“I am not saying the story is not true, but the rightful sources should be quoted,” he stressed.

Yesterday, the SPLA spokesperson said the army would not withdraw tanks and armored vehicles around the residence of Paul Malong.

Brigadier General Lul Ruai said they would keep security forces there in order to avoid what he describes as “unforeseen eventualities”.