National News

Malong to remain with four bodyguards

By Jale Richard

All the armoured personnel carrier of security forces that were initially deployed around the residence of General Paul Malong, former army chief, have been withdrawn after he accepted the presidential order on reduction of his bodyguards.

“It was not disarmament, it was reduction of the force so that they go back to their previous units,” said the SPLA spokesperson Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang yesterday. “He (Malong) will remain only with four armed guards.”

“It was misreported that the government had wanted to disarm his bodyguards but he was requested to reduce his guards to four as required by the law,” he continued.

Brig. Gen. Koang said the armoured vehicles were also withdrawn because there was no real threat to the government and residents of Juba posed by general Malong.

The forces were also withdrawn to reduce and eliminate uncertainty created by deployment of security forces near the residence of Malong, and to build confidence between Malong and the government because he had perceived the government had wanted to arrest him, which is not the case.

Koang said the law required former army officials be provided with four bodyguards even after leaving their duties.

He said Malong was still at his residence near the presidential palace in J1.

The whole of yesterday there were no signs of soldiers’ movements or armoured vehicles around the house which had been the case previously. The withdrawal comes after media reports that Malong has been released on Thursday and had been allowed to go for medical checkup in east Africa.

Malong had earlier written to the United Nations, Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the International Community seeking assistance to be granted to go for asylum in the United Nations camp, or be allowed to travel outside the country. He also asked to move with his bodyguards to his home town of Aweil.

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