Speaking to friends, Gen. Paul Malong reiterates that if he was released as reported by social media he would have gone for a walk around the city or probably pack right away and head home to Aweil.
“Only tanks and troops around ‘my home’ to be removed but I’m not freed to go, if I have been released, you would have seen me walking around or heading to Awiel,”A friend relays Malong Awan’s message.
Based on Republican order from Gen. Salva Kiir, Gen. Malong has been cut off from network and internet access. His electronic devices are confiscated and he is banned from speaking to media until further notice.
For the last few days, the heavily monitored former chief of staff has had no means to communicate to the outside world except through his wife Lucy Ayak who has gone silence in the last 48 hours.
Malong has been serving house arrest since May this year, however, an ongoing negotiation led by the Jieng Council of elders has given hope 5 days ago that Malong was released.
According the to the lead mediator, Bona Bang Dhel, who spoke to media after meeting Malong on November 9th, the former chief was going to be released immediately since he accepted to let go his bodyguards as ordered by President Kiir. This seems not to have been the case so far.
Members of the presidency who were contacted by media houses downplayed Gen. Malong’s release saying that they had no information at the time.
“I have no such information. What I know is that talks are continuing. When they are concluded they will be made public and both sides will speak to the public. What is true is that the President of the Republic has demonstrated critical leadership in this matter and has made it clear that the standoff will be resolved amicably through elders and the religious leaders,” said Presidential adviser on decentralization and intergovernmental linkage, Tor Deng Mawien.