Malong’s group says it suspended spokesman over leaked documents

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The opposition South Sudan United Front Jikeny(SSUF) said on Wednesday it had suspended its official spokesperson as part of an investigation into the leaking of internal documents.

The rebel group led by General Paul Malong is part of South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA), a coalition of holdout opposition groups that signed a truce agreement with the government in Rome, Italy on January 12, 2020.

General Paul Malong on Tuesday announced the suspension of the movement’s official spokesperson Sunday de John, without giving reasons.

But Sunday said General Malong and his associates have recently reached out to President Salva Kiir Mayardit, seeking a separate peace forum. He further said personal talks between General Malong and Kiir’s associates are blocking the movement from fully committing to the Rome peace forum under the auspices of the Community of Sant’Egidio.

Sunday also lashed out at Malong’s associates in the movement for orchestrating a “conspiracy” that led to his suspension from the position of spokesperson.

In response to Sunday de John’s statement, an acting spokeswoman for the SSUF group told Radio Tamazuj that the spokesperson was suspended for leaking internal documents containing information relating to the movement’s military wing.

“Sunday was suspended by General Malong for leaking some documents that were meant to be internal. Those documents were leaked and found circulating in Juba. Any organization including SSUF cannot accept leaking of sensitive information, so we treat what had happened as treason,” Nyamach Nyang Chol said.

Nyamach said the leaked documents were containing ranks of the movement’s forces on the ground. She further said General Malong is committed to negotiating a peace agreement through the Rome peace forum.

“Sunday de John was the one who had the documents for the promotions of our officers. There was no one else who had these documents, so he is the only one who was found to have leaked the documents to Juba, and the information came back to us,” she said.  

“Also, General Malong is not seeking a separate peace forum. General Malong is even scheduled to travel to Rome next month to hold talks with the government, so what Sunday said is not true,” she said.

 Nyamach also denied claims that Malong’s associates in the movement orchestrated a “conspiracy” that led to Sunday’s suspension. “Sunday cannot present any evidence proving the alleged conspiracy, so what he said cannot be substantiated,” she concluded. Share this

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