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JUBA - 17 Nov 2017

President Kiir reconciles with ex-army chief

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on Thursday reconciled with the former army chief Paul Malong Awan whom he removed from office in May, ending weeks of standoff between government troops and Malong’s bodyguards in Juba.

Kiir’s administration had sought to disarm the bodyguards of Malong who was under house arrest in Juba on fears he might leave the capital and form a new rebel group.

Malong had initially left the capital with a convoy of vehicles for his home state of Aweil following his removal before coming back on orders of President Kiir.

Speaking at an occasion he organized for elders who mediated between the government and Malong, President Kiir announced the release of Malong from house arrest and pledged to open a new page in relations with the former military chief.

Kiir said there was no any ill-intention in the order to reduce the number of Awan’s bodyguards but that was in accordance with rules and regulations controlling the army.

For his part, General Paul Malong pledged his readiness to working with President Kiir and open a new page in their relations to consolidate peace, reconciliation, unity, harmony and peaceful coexistence.

The elders who mediated between the government and Malong released a statement welcoming the decision of the president to release the former army chief and for accepting to put aside any differences and tensions generated by the order.