Juba, May 19, 2015 (SSNA) -- Differences among top government officials in Juba emerged soon after the Upper Nile State-based powerful militia Commander Johnson Olony told President Salva Kiir, SPLA Chief of General Staff Paul Malong, and Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk that their demand for him to go to Juba for a peaceful dialogue “smells like Paul Malong’s suitcase,” a confidential source with full knowledge of squabble told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) in Juba.
The source revealed to the SSNA that the three leaders have been holding meetings for weeks to try to convince Olony to stay loyal to the government. The source also added that Kiir and Kuol were furious and constantly blamed Paul Malong for Olony’s desertion. The two leaders also demanded clarification from Malong.
Meanwhile, Malong was not happy when he realized that Kiir and Kuol were not defending him. In return, Malong lashed out at Kuol, telling him to “mind his own business,” and that he has nothing to do with Olony’s defection.
The source further revealed that Kiir, Malong, and kuol were shocked and surprised at the same time when furious Olony dropped the bombshell on the phone, adding that the comments were offensive enough to irritate Paul Malong to the point where he repeatedly knocked a table with his fists and vowed to “destroy Olony’s militia group.”
“There has been dirty infighting here in the capital. President Kiir, his defense minister and the SPLA Chief of General Staff are not happy,” the source said.
“Olony bluntly told the three leaders that their call for him to come to Juba to settle their differences smells like Paul Malong’s suitcase,” the source added.
It is not clear what Olony meant by the reference and why he only picked on Malong.
Last week, Olony’s fighters who have been fighting alongside South Sudan’s government forces against rebels took full control of Upper Nile State’s capital, Malakal.
The news of the capture of the city and most of its Counties from government soldiers caused panic in Juba as rebels forces allied to South Sudan’s Former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, are rumored to have strike an undisclosed deal with Olony.
In April, Olony’s fighters launched a surprised attack against bodyguards of Upper Nile State’s Governor, Simon Kun Puohc. The attack resulted in the death of some of Puoch’s bodyguards and sent at least five of his staff members to a hospital.
Olony is believed to break his deal with Kiir because of an unexplained assassination of his deputy by government soldiers.