By Tom Mugisha, firstname.lastname@example.org
KAMPALA – The former army chief of South Sudan Gen. Paul Malong has said he is still under house arrest, contrary to the earlier reports that he had been released.
He told the Sudan Tribune newspaper that his movements were still restricted at home and is not allowed to see his relatives.
“The house of the president and where I am, is almost 600 meters and the office of the president is about 2000 meters and he has not invited me,” he was quoted.
Gen Malong was sacked via a presidential decree in May by President Salva Kiir and replaced him with General James Ajongo Mawut, the former deputy chief of general staff for administration and finance.
He said there was no indication he would soon be released. He also said the authorities have not even told him the cause for restricting his movement.
“I am just waiting when I will be informed and when I will be allowed to move freely. When that happens, everybody will know,” he was quoted by Sudan Tribune. Before his arrest, there had been reports that he was planning a coup.
The incarcerated General is among the three top South Sudan army officers facing the US sanctions placed on them early September for “personally profiteering” from a climate of corruption in a government that has been called a kleptocraticy
The other two officers who have been placed under the U.S sanctions are Gen. Malek Reuben Riak Rengu, the army’s deputy chief of staff in charge of military procurement; and Michael Makuei Lueth, South Sudan’s information minister.
In February and March, a number of senior army officers resigned, accusing Gen Malong of conducting an ethnic war against non-Dinkas.
Among those who quit was Lieutenant-General Thomas Cirillo who is living in Addisa abaaba and has since announced rebellion against Juba regime.
Gen Malong is widely regarded by some as being the mastermind of fighting that erupted in the capital, Juba, last July, killing hundreds and dashing hopes of a power-sharing government between Kiir and Machar