November 6, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudanese elders said on Monday they are in talks with the government and Gen Paul Malong Awan, former chief of general staff of the army to resolve the standoff over the disarmament and arrest of the guards as came out in a presidential order.
Deng Macham, President of the Traditional Leaders in South Sudan and one of Aweil community leaders involved in the negotiations told Sudan Tribune on Monday that meetings have been held separately with President Kiir and Gen Paul Malong to break the standoff over disarmament and arrest of the guards.
“There is no problem. The situation around the residence of Gen Paul Malong is calm and everything is under control. This is what we want. We don’t want war. We do not want the blood to be shed. The elders and the religious leaders have taken a peaceful initiative to break the standoff. These talks have been held with the president and Gen Paul Malong and they are continuing,” said Macham.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny confirmed meetings have taken place between the community leaders with Paul Malong as well as with the president and other high-level officials.
Ateny said Bishop Majok of the Methodist Church, Aweil elder Garang Deng Aguer and the Presidential Envoy Akot Lual met with Malong in order to contain the situation. He did not elaborate on the message the elders were delivering to the former chief of general staff who refused to disarm and arrest