Understanding Gen. Paul Malong Awan: The true nationalist & unfairly maligned savior of South Sudan

By Simon Yel Yel, Juba, South Sudan, JUL/18/2016, SSN;

In Western diplomats’ imagination, General Paul Malong Awan is a life-battery for President Salva Kiir’s presidency; Presidential wheel driver; dictator and the fanner of the war. For Western sympathizers, he is the murderer of the Nuer, Dinka emperor who wants to build Dinka political hegemony, corrupt, antagonist and awaiting heir who will inherit the presidency once president Salva Kiir retires or dies.

However, General Malong have risen and stood tall above these caricaturist descriptions during the recent five days fighting in Juba.

Gen. Paul Malong Awan was in the bush long before the emergency of the SPLM/A in 1983. Like other war veterans, Malong abandoned his own Anyanya two movement in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and successfully mobilized and led thousands of youth to Ethiopia, Bilpham in 1984.

Malong was so passionate about the love for his country and detested the suffering that the people of southern Sudan were subjected to by the then Sudanese government.

During the liberation war, Malong almost fought in every corner of the then Sudan. He was the commander of the forces that had managed to vigorously defeat the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) on several attempts to recapture Jebel Boma. Malong protected Jebel Boma in 1992 until he was transferred to Northern Bahr el Ghazal to protect civilians from constant raiding attacks from Murahaleen.

From 1990’s up to the time of CPA, Malong was the commander in charge of all the SPLA forces in Northern Barh El Ghazal, Gogrial, Raja and other towns. Gen. Malong fought the bitter war with Mujahedeen, Murahaleen and the forces of Sheikh Abdelbaki Ayii Akol. He protected the civilians and properties from SAF until the CPA was signed.

After the comprehensive peace Agreement was signed, Gen. Malong didn’t opt to join politics but remained in the army as the country’s deputy Security chief. He was posted in Khartoum. He had a belief that the only viable option for Southern Sudanese to survive from socio-political marginalization from the North is to vote for secession and hence he had to make sure he gathers all intelligence plans for the SPLM/A.

In 2008, Gen. Malong was appointed by President Salva Kiir as a governor for Northern Bahr El Ghazal state on the request of the people of Northern Bahr el Ghazal. For the four years that Malong spent in the gubernatorial office, things he achieved in Aweil speak better for themselves than for me to explain them.

When Riek’s bloody quest for J-1 reached the highest peak of “shoot to lead” in Dec 2013, Malong unreservedly took his AK-47 and joined the SPLA forces to jettison out Riek’s forces in Juba and consequently dislodge him in Bor. He was the only leading high profile figure who fought in Bor liberation war from Riek.

In April 2014, President Salva Kiir appointed Gen. Malong to be the SPLA chief of General staff on request of the public. Malong accepted the appointment and left his gubernatorial position and took up a very challenging job of defending the country.

As he took over the work as the SPLA chief for General staff, a remarkable enigma surrounds General Malong. Who is he? What does he want? How does he want to fight Riek’s rebellion and transform the SPLA?

Only people who see things beyond tribal line will dare not ask those questions because there are sufficient accounts of goals achieved by Gen. Malong.

For those who were unable to watch Malong on Thursday night on SSTV a.k.a SSBC, his speech on that night serves as a useful guide and full definition of what human being he is and what is he up to.

Relaxed, reasonable, well-informed, nationalist, savior, the Malong who appeared on SSBC was far from the purported reckless murderer, dictator and Dinka emperor.

On his Thursday night appearance on SSBC, Malong said, “when I joined the SPLA liberation war in 1980s, my goal was to achieve this great nation and protect all the citizens regardless of their creed, tribes, faith, political affiliation and regions. There are those who would want to inculcate the fear in our people that I am in a planning to kill Equatorians, I Therefore want to assure the Equatorians and indeed all South Sudanese that my mission as the SPLA chief for General Staffs is to protect the sovereignty and territory of South Sudan from external and internal aggression; protect the constitution and more importantly to protect the lives and properties of all South Sudanese from any danger or harm whether from inside or outside” he added.

Watching Gen. Malong on that Thursday night feels like watching history being made. Despite the relentless propaganda aimed to emasculate his reputation, his star continues to rise.

When the political history of the post-independence and dark days brought upon the country by Riek Machar’s rebellion at the behest of the U.S.A and UN is finally recorded by our generation, Gen. Paul Malong will no doubt be recognized as a great hero who tremendously transformed the SPLA into disciplinary army and protected the civilians, constitution and sovereignty of South Sudan.

Indeed, he will be remembered as a man who brought to end Riek’s political philosophy of “shoot to lead.”

Gen. Paul Malong is following the same path undertaken by President Salva Kiir. When the SPLA bifurcated in 1991 and late William Nyuon who was the chief of General staffs rebelled, huge responsibilities fell on Salva Kiir as he assumed the role of Chief of General staff until 2005.

Similarly, when the SPLA went into bad deep dichotomization in 2013, then quite unexpectedly, President Kiir put Gen. Malong at the helm in Bilpham in April 2014. Within a period of two years from then, Malong turned what was viewed as a tribal army into a national army and indeed made SPLA to be one of the strongest army in the region.

I firmly believe that the current state of affairs, nationhood and political sanity in South Sudan will prove to be having been preserved as a result of sudden appearance of Gen. Paul Malong.

The strong military foundation mechanism put into place by Gen. Malong will one day prove to have salvaged the SPLA from disintegration and the nation from collapse.

Under the stewardship of Gen. Malong, the SPLA has become the last and only front against the foreign exploitation; the only front against any individual who wants to use the national army as a mean of ascending to J-1; the only front against external aggression that threatens the existence of South Sudan as a nation and its prosperity as a people; the only front against any individual who wants to subject the lives of citizens into suffering to pursue his personal interest; the only front against foreign intervention into South Sudan’s affairs; the only front that protects the constitution and sovereignty of South Sudan.

In conclusion, I dare the reader to imagine what the political and military state of South Sudan would be like today without the existence of Gen. Malong in Bilpham and President Kiir in J-1.

What Malong and his team achieved in Bilpham during these two years in my opinion are history’s turning points.

Simon Yel Yel is the co-editor of President Salva Kiir’ speeches and essential writings published as “Salva Kiir Mayardit: The Joshua of South Sudan” he can be reached at maandeng2017@gmail.com or +211955246235.


  1. Eastern says:

    What rubbish is this Dinka led government mouthpiece trying to say here about the modurous man, Paul Malong Awan.

    I lived in Aweil and precisely in Aweil East county spending most of my time at Malual Kon, Wanjok and Warawar areas under the kingdom of Paul Malong. Warawar market managed by one Manut was the coffer of Malong. Every penny collected from the market there as “taxes” from Sudanese traders ends in the pockets of Paul Malong. Almost every household in Aweil East county was an inlaw of Paul Malong – he’s married many wives during this time.

    Notwithstanding his past “achievements” as spelt out by Yel, Malong is a beast at heart. He’s a ruthless man. He’s set loose an ill trained tribal militias he had mobilised before the independence on rampage in many parts of Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal. This militia called Mathiang anyoor are a brainchild of Malong. Yel is silence on this killer group.

    Yel goes on to demonise Americans thinking that the independence of South Sudan was a product of sweat and blood of southern Sudanese alone. Let me remind Yel and like minded of the bitter truth; without the American “poking” their noses into southern Sudanese affairs, SPLA would still be fighting in the bush or would have disintegrated altogether! SPLA was no where near annihilating the SAF and the converse was true. The independence of South Sudan can be attributed largely to the presidency of Georeg Bush. Events in the world following 9/11 made Omar el Bashir of Sudan and his Islamic front to become jittery least the warmth of Ameria be directed on them following the America onslaught on Afghanistan.

    Yel, you can tell lies to other people that Paul Malong is pure nationalist not the beast that some of us know him to be. Malong on used all the war arsenal at his disposal in his failed attempt at killing Dr Machar in Juba under may watch. What are you trying to tell the forum?

    • info@southsudannation says:

      As editor, I was at great pain in heart and mind to publish this article in the spirit of fairness. Nonetheless, it’s abundantly clear to all that the article is simply a make-up attempt to give some falsity to the so-called nationalism of murderer Malong.
      How could a ‘shamasha’ on Khartoum streets all of a sudden become the greatest fighter for South Sudan independence?
      Anyway, today with all the preponderance of evidence and facts, gangster Paul Malong is the greatest murderer of South Sudanese and hopefully, one day, he will either hang for the crimes or simply be eviscerated into oblivion…. time will prove the truth.

      • Jake says:

        Proud of your professional ethics. Every opinion matters.
        With that out of the way,Back to the author.

        Who you trying to fool? Everyone knows Malong is no Warrior. He is a foolish Moron. This Tribalist Chief of Mathiang Anyoor is only known for killing women and kids and acting irrational. All the human rights and War Crimes labelled against SPLA came under his watch. You claim he turned the Army National from a tribal one. That’s an insult to true patriots and leaders like James Hoth and Oyai Deng Ajak.

        Malong was brought in to fight a tribal war by the JCE not the public. This fool helped Salva dig their own grave. Because of his stupidity they will both end up in court soon.

        Malong is just a fool. He claims to have been shot during the liberation War . That’s false… William Nyuon shot him in the ass and thigh over an Ethiopian concubine. He only make such claims of war scars in his village. The truth is known by SPLA generals.

        Malong is stupid, he doesn’t see something that can bring him harm .

        You made my day though. I had a great laught reading your article. You should be a comedian.

        • Deng Monymor says:


          If amounting insults on any national leader gives winning results, it would have brought your Prophet of Doom to J1 but this is not the case. I think it is time for you and kinds to do some logical thinking as your intentions are concerned. With General Malong leading the Army, Machar III (2016) was wiped out. So who is the fool here?

          • GatNor says:

            Jaang speaks in double standard while hiding their tribal agenda making it looks like the agenda of South Sudan government, thus comes the term “Hijacked” You have hijacked the country with all its resources and yet you can not stand on your own two feet to defend what you have stolen fom the people of South Sudan. Uganda and North Sudan rebel will not defend you Jaang forever just so you know. Enjoy their help while it lasts. Cowards!

  2. GatNor says:

    Praising a Jiok. Wait soon General Peter Gadeet will corner this dog. You will see what I mean. That tail of his will be in between his legs begging for mercy and his life. Both mercy and the right to life(he) Malong is denying to many citizens that has nothing to do with tribalism or that tribal government of his.

  3. Simba says:

    Paul Malong is a thug who lives to terrorise the helpless and unarmed. He thrives when he smells or sees blood. The idea of peace makes him sick. If peace comes to the country he will either die of depression or try another bloodshed. He is a sick man.

  4. Elhag Paul says:

    Lies! Lies! Utter lies. Has the author seen anybody polish dung in their life? Does the author know why it is impossible to polish dung? The answer is simple, it is soft without any frame and given structure. If you try to polish it, it scatters to pieces. There is Malong for you Sir..

  5. Gatdarwich says:

    This is a typical Dinka’s concocted lies. Malong is a pure Dinka’s warlord and a national traitor period

  6. GatNor says:

    Nyegaats usually just rob and raids small groups of unarmed civilians and maybe villagers, Jaang took the meaning of this word to the next level and rob the whole country. Making them earn the title Nyegaaat undisputed…lol.

  7. Lokosang says:

    Yel Yel, are you not ashamed by fooling yourself on this website? How can a womaniser, a murderer, a tribal war lord and shamashi like Paul Malong becomes a nationalists figure. Since the war of liberation started I haven’t heard of any SPLA victory let by Malong. He was busy robbing people property and marrying many women to build his kingdom.
    Logically a revolutionary minded person would be busy with military tactics and plans to defeat the enemy as his primary objectives but Malong primary objective is to build his own kingdom at the expenses of the ordinary people.
    The whole world know that it is the Ugandan army who save Malong and Salfa Kiir asses other wise the white army would have march to Juba without any resistance from Matiang Anyor. The truth speaks out loud and clear as it happened in the last week and half in Juba when only 1500 army with light weapons inflicted heavy losses in both men and amour to Mating Anyor Malitias. You can prays this murderer but be mindful that he is dinging your own grave and it will be too late by the time you realised you have been fooled by this warlord.
    If I were you I would keep quiet than showing the how fool Am I.

  8. kibet Andrew a.k.a dr savimbi says:

    We Kenyans wants to see a peaceful south sudan.are you not ashamed of having refugees all over the world?children n women need peace if not you men

  9. Pastor says:

    I am a pure South Sudanese. I have questions like these for my fellow men and women of our nation of South Sudan.
    Is it not obvious in our South Sudanese cultures to not like a person who always results and abuses people in the society? Don’t we know one thing collectively about such a person, that ”a man who fights using insults is like a woman?” Brothers will South Sudan one day become like Rwanda? In Rwanda today people don’t speak so much about tribalism after they have experienced a 1994 genocide.
    Shame upon all of you. Shame on whoever tries to defend his/her tribes.

    Pastor Garang

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