JUBA – South Sudan’s former army chief of staff has been freed from house arrest after nearly six months.
General Paul Malong was sacked in May after falling out with President Salva Kiir. But rather than being allowed to retire quietly, he was placed under house arrest because there were concerns that he would rally up his militia against the government.
Now President Salva Kiir has ordered Mr Malong’s release on medical grounds, permitting him to seek medical attention abroad. Just last week, soldiers surrounded his house and attempted to disarm his bodyguards in a stand-off.
It’s quite a turn around for one of South Sudan’s most powerful men – who was until May the leader of South Sudan’s army – to now be pleading for a chance to seek refuge at a United Nations camp.
He was repeatedly accused of interfering with the work of UN peacekeepers but lately he’s been seeking their protection.
The UN has accused him of organising ethnically motivated attacks against civilians during the South Sudan’s civil war.