A group of fragmented Jieng Council of Elders, an influential tribal organization that controls Kiir’s administration, has met this evening at J1 Republican Palace in attempt to propose more alternatives to deescalate the rising tension in the capital, Juba.
According to eyewitnesses in the presidency, who claim to have no permission to speak on the meeting, five members of the Jieng Council of Elders were meeting president Kiir at the time of this writing.
The insider confirms that the group was led by NCP member, Dr. Bwona Malual, a former political affairs advisor to Sudanese president, Omar el Bashir.
The results of the meeting are yet to be announced, however, tension has been on the rise in the capital as Malong’s loyalists react to a Presidential decree that remains in circulation among the army forces.
On Oct 30th, President Kiir issued strict orders to restrain his former Chief, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, which seems to confirm speculations that President Kiir and his new allies could have ill intention on their former ally-turned-suspect.
Part of the order calls on the new Chief of Defense Forces of the SPLA to deploy over 200 soldiers in Malong’s residence and order the army to use “reasonable force” on Malong’s bodyguards and militias who may refuse to surrender their weapons.
According to Gen. Malong’s wife, Lucy Ayak, who spoke to media, the bodyguards have refused to surrender their arms and others are defecting to weigh rebellion.
Ayak calls on President Kiir to do something to avoid further escalation of an already tense situation in the capital.
“I think things will escalate if the president doesn’t act quickly,” Ayak told Associate Press.
Ayak and other family members of Malong have tried media in the past to express their grievances and urged Kiir to free their man but instead things continue to escalate as she said.
The issue which became public this week has been circulated to senior generals and members of the Jieng Council of Elders more than two weeks ago.
According to senior officer, Chan Garang Lual, who defected in Torit last week and spoke to SBS Dinka radio yesterday, Kiir’s officers tried to disarm and arrest him on October 24th in the capital, Juba, but he refused to put down his arms and instead ordered his men to fight.
“I left Torit with three platoons and I was joined by another 150 soldiers.The Government tried to arrest me on the 24/10/2017 and we resisted their attack. We are now in Amandi area and they know where I am ready to fight back.” Gen. Chan told SBS Dinka radio.
A few other groups have defected and left the capital in the last two weeks and more could follow if nothing change, however, this won’t be the first defections of Malong’s loyalist.
Gen. Malong fled the capital on the night he was sacked by President Kiir and defected with over 600 soldiers.
Malong fled the capital in a well-armed military convoy on May 9th, 2017, however, the former Chief of General Staff was stopped by Kiir’s forces in Yirol, Lake State, while attempting to escape to his home town of Aweil, Northern Bhar el Ghazal.
Malong was returned to Juba, ending his rebellion in just 4 days, but many of his men in uniform and supporters within and outside the country have threatened war if the former governor of Northern Bhar el Ghazal is not released.
It remains unclear at this point if president Kiir will recall his Republican Order to deescalate the rising tension or he will encourage the use of force to silence the situation.