By Lucy Malek (Gen. Paul Malong’s wife)
When my name was first publicly announced to the world, it was out of the unfortunate situation I was facing, with my husband incarcerated under unclear circumstances.
Out of desperation, I sought a listening ear from all corners of society, as a wife who was scared for her husband’s life and wellbeing. Amidst all kinds of contention, the President finally agreed and set my husband free and allowed him to seek the medical help he needed. It was kind of him.
It’s my understanding that upon his release, he was asked to make a pledge that he would not engage in subversive activities against the government in Juba. However, as you all know, a few weeks after his release, the formation of the South Sudan United Front was announced and led by my husband.
Since I was not privy to the mutual understanding between my husband and the government in Juba, I cannot authoritatively comment on the issue about the reassurances he gave to His Excellency, the President and his change of heart that followed.
The reason I have been compelled to write this article is to clear the air about the widespread assumption that I am part of the leadership structure of the SSUF. As a wife, I cannot direct my husband on what he does, whether or not I have reservations about it.
Whereas I acknowledge that my husband declared war against the government in Juba and in my personal capacity as Lucy Ayak Malek, I would like to categorically put it on record that I am not part and parcel of the SSUF, whether in administrative capacity or otherwise.
If I were part of the SSUF, I don’t think it would have been wise for me to freely move to Juba and back to Nairobi without any inconvenience or hindrance.
While many people may have their personal reasons for opposing the government in Juba, I strongly believe, as I have stated in my previous articles, that our country does not need more of our young people on the battle field fighting but cultivators, manufacturers, students, innovators, entrepreneurs.
We need our young people to get engaged in productive works. In my opinion, that is the only way for us as a country to get back on the path to prosperity and true independence from the horrors of the past.
Therefore, whether various people have legitimate reasons for opposing the government, it’s my humble opinion that our differences can and should be ironed out through peaceful engagement and dialogue. It may take a longer period and require extreme self-restraint among those who feel aggrieved, but I must stress that it’s the only way for us all to get to where we desire to see our country heading to without shedding more blood.
On this note, I would like the world, all and sundry to know that I am a free lady and a mother who has nothing to do with the political and military activities of SSUF. I can freely move to and from Juba without any restrictions or encumbrances, and I appreciate the government for having afforded me that freedom.
I repeat, I am not and have never been a part of the SSUF and I play no role whatsoever in its activities.
To all peace loving and law-abiding citizens of our beloved South Sudan, I call upon you to pursue the path of peace and reconciliation in our beloved country since we have already paid a hefty price because of war.
Let us embrace civility and agree to disagree without feeling the need to met violence upon each other and the country at large. For a Peaceful and Prosperous South Sudan.