General Paul Malong Awan, chief of general staff of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is visiting Rwanda, Uganda and other countries in the region to strengthen and further military cooperation, according to officials from the ministry of defence and his aides on Tuesday.
Malong, according to a presidential source, is visiting Rwanda on the approval of President Salva Kiir and some of the government officials to sell their views of what they expect from countries in the region expected to contribute troops to participate as regional protection force under the United Nations mission in South Sudan.
“The chief of general staff is on an official visit to Rwanda. He has been delegated by the president to go there. Of course as a military man, he is going to talk to his counterpart in Rwanda and will be talking things pertinent to the military”, a presidential source said Tuesday.
Lieutenant Colonel Makuac Lual Tong, an executive director in the office of chief of general staff confirmed Malong was out of the country. “Yes, the chief of General staff is out of the country, any problem”, asked Makuac when asked on Tuesday to comment on reports his boss has not been in office since Monday.
Makuac said his boss was in Rwanda in response to visitation extended to him by Rwandese chief of defence staff. Media reports show Malong greeting Rwandese soldiers and officers upon arrival to the country. Neither South Sudan broadcasting Corporation nor the office of the spokesman of the army was able to make a statement about the purpose of the visit.