South Sudan’s former army chief who is leader an armed rebellion against the government of South Sudan General Paula Malong Awan has rejected an initiative to meet President Salva Kiir in Juba, sources have said.
Malong who is the leader of South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) was approached by Ambrose Riing Thiik, a leading member of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) in Nairobi in September with an invitation to meet Kiir in Juba.
The rebel leader, one source said, rejected the meeting on the ground that Juba was not safe for his security and instead said Addis Ababa or Nairobi were safer than the proposed Juba for the meeting to take place.
“Justice Ambrose Riing [Thiik] delivered an invitation to General Malong from President Salva to attend a very important meeting in Juba,” the source said.
“As his security being the justification, Malong rejected the meeting and said he prefers Addis Ababa or Nairobi for that meeting to take place,” the source said from Juba.
The source further said “Malong also said the meeting should be channeled via the regional bloc IGAD” which mediated the revitalized peace agreement.
Malong is not a signatory of the revitalized agreement signed by Kiir and several opposition groups in Addis Ababa last year to end the war.
In August, Making signed the Hague declaration which called for the removal of President Salva Kiir Mayardit from power through armed struggle.