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S.Sudan declares former army chief a rebel, accuses him of attacks

S.Sudan declares former army chief a rebel, accuses him of attacks

South Sudan

<p><strong>The South Sudanese government on Monday declared army chief of staff General Paul Malong a rebel and accused him of being behind a series of attacks last week.</strong></p> <p>Malong, who had led President Salva Kiir’s campaign against rebels, has been under house arrest since May after Kiir sacked him following a string of military resignations by senior generals alleging abuse and ethnic bias.</p> <p>Malong initially fled the capital Juba for his home state of Aweil following his dismissal, fuelling suspicion that he might join opposition forces, before returning to Juba.</p> <p>Malong loyalists started joining rebels and in November, Kiir released Malong to exile in Kenya, after mediation by Dinka elders.</p> <p>South Sudan, which became the world’s newest country after splitting from Sudan in 2011, plunged into war in late 2013 after Kiir sacked his deputy, Riek Machar.</p> <p>The dispute erupted into fighting that spread across the country, largely along ethnic lines between forces loyal to Kiir and Machar.</p> <p>Kiir’s spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said Malong was ordering his commanders in South Sudan to attack the government. He cited an audio recording obtained by its intelligence services.</p> <p>‘‘Malong is a former chief of staff of the army but in accordance with the tape, he’s a rebel. The government and the security committee will come with an appropriate response,’‘ he told a news conference. </p> <p>Lucy Ayak, Malong’s wife, said the accusations were baseless.</p> <p>‘‘This audio is a fake audio recording,’‘ she told Reuters by phone from Nairobi. ‘‘Every time government is accusing him that he wants to launch an attack, which is not true.’‘</p> <p>Last week, clashes broke out near Juba between government troops and rebels, the latest violation of a ceasefire signed in December.</p> <p>The deal reached in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa between Kiir’s government and a myriad of opposition groups had aimed to end the four-year-old war in which tens of thousands of people have been killed.</p> <p><strong><em><span class="caps">REUTERS</span></em></strong></p>

Malong is a former chief of staff of the army but in accordance with the tape, he’s a rebel. The government and the security committee will come with an appropriate response

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