18 Sep 2019

 

Why Kenya Should Expel Gen Paul Malong Awan

"I don’t understand why the people who lead Kenya are not disturbed by doing business with a foreign rebel General, Paul Malong Awan, who continues to use Nairobi as the base of a violent military rebellion and does not respect the rights of underage children".

A Letter of Protest to the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU)

By James A. Mayik *

(Gurtong, August 26, 2019) - Dear United Nations Security Council and African Union, Kenya should expel or extradite Gen. Paul Malong Awan before it is allowed to sit on the world’s UN Security Council.

This letter is meant to protest Kenya’s relations with people who compromise and deprive the world’s people with the peace they need so critically. South Sudan is one member of the United Nations which has been struggling to maintain peace for itself since it became independent in 2011.

Kenya’s relations with Paul Malong Awan who continues to remotely commands a rebellion he calls “South Sudan United Front (SSUF) which conscripts, arms, and sends children to war, is troubling. These are not values enshrined in the United Nations’ rights of the children.

In accordance with the UN Charter, the Security Council holds special privileges, permissions and powers to execute a global responsibility for peace (Christobal 2013).

In a voting exercise, held Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at the African Union Headquarters in
Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa, Kenya has been endorsed as a candidate for the UN Security Council non-permanent seat for the 2021-2022 Term (Daily Nation (2019).

First, let me take the opportunity to congratulate the Kenyan people for such a deserving win. To win the seat, Kenya will have to get the support of two-thirds of the UN member states. But, as a concerned citizen of the East Africa Region and of a UN member State, I would like to raise a question of Kenya’s integrity and power competency.

The UN Security Council leads executive engagements in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It often urges the parties to a dispute to resolve their conflicts peacefully and also recommends methods of adjustment or terms of the settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security (Daily Nation, 2019).

South Sudan’s Paul Malong Awan is a threat to South Sudan’s peace by using arms to attack communities, recruiting children, and commanding them to fight the government. Malong is not part of the recently revitalized peace agreement signed in 2018.

Yet, this man lives in Kenya’s Nairobi (Africa Uncensored 2018) where he commands his forces to destabilize communities back in his home country, South Sudan. Kenya continue to harbor Paul Malong Awan in its Nairobi’s sleek suburbs where he commands a violent rebellion in the former Greater Northern Bar el Ghazal State of South Sudan.

Despite the fact that South Sudan neighbors Kenya, it is a member of the United Nations in which Kenya will be sitting in its Executive Council to determine the world peace. Can Kenya really become effective on the Council if it provides sanctuary to people who wage meaningless wars and refuse to sign peace?

In a military confrontation seen last week between Paul Malong’s rebels and South Sudan’s People Defense Forces (SSPDF) at Warr-Achien near Aweil town, a number of child soldiers were captured alive among Paul Malong Awan’s rebel forces (Radio Tamazuj, 2019). Some of them as young as 12 to 15 years old. This is a shred of clear evidence that Gen.

Paul Malong Awan who currently lives in his big mansion in Kenya’s Nairobi, which Enough Project’s Sentry Report claims was bought with looted public resources (Sentry 2018), recruits, arms, and sends children to war.

Paul Malong Awan is putting small children on the line of death and should not be allowed to live in the capital city of a country priding herself to sit on the United Nations Security Council.

This is contradictory to the values underpinning international best practices and of the United Nations’ Security Council, which is supposed to work for peace. It is understandable that Kenya and South Sudan do not have an extradition agreement.

However, if Kenya wants to stand the test of integrity required of a candidate vying for a seat on the UN Security Council, it should come clean by expelling or extraditing Paul Malong Awan who recruits, arms, and sends children to war.

Paul Malong Awan is the former Chief of General Staff in South Sudan’s national army. After being sacked from his position by South Sudan’s President, he picked up arms and launched a violent military rebellion against the State of South Sudan. He should fight his war within the confines of his home country of South Sudan but not from Nairobi, Kenya.

Paul Malong Awan’s violent activities in South Sudan should disturb the conscience of the world’s good people. I don’t understand why the people who lead Kenya are not disturbed by doing business with a foreign rebel General, Paul Malong Awan, who continues to use Nairobi as the base of a violent military rebellion and does not respect the rights of underage children.

Malong’s stay in Nairobi compromises Kenya’s integrity in connection to its bid for a seat on the world’s UN Security Council and must be challenged.

Please, don’t quote me wrong here. I am not questioning the integrity of the Kenyan people but its power apparatus which gives Paul Malong Awan the right to stay in Nairobi while commanding a rebellion staffed by underage children within another UN Member State.

On a side note, Paul Malong Awan, along with other South Sudan’s officials, is sanctioned by the UN Security Council for war crimes. If Kenya is really serious to sit on the UN Security Council to engage in solving some of the world’s complicated problems, it must understand that South Sudan’s violent civil conflict is one of such complex problems facing the UN at the moment. It should begin its first assignment at home by expelling or extraditing South Sudan’s
Paul Malong Awan who is accused of war crimes.

On the same token, Nairobi should freeze Paul Malong Awan’s assets and cut business ties with him until he abandons violence involving underage children in a neighboring State.

References:
Christobal, (2013); Five tips on how to succeed in the Security Council
https://bestdelegate.com/five-tips-on-how-to-succeed-in-the-security-council/
Daily Nation (2019); Kenya’s UN Security Council bid: African Union makes final vote
https://www.nation.co.ke/news/africa/Kenya-UN-Security-Council-bid-African-Unionvote/1066-5243446-qr5i73z/index.html
Namu, J.A., (2018); The Profiteers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT8sfhJNiVA
Radio Tamazuj (2019); Army captures senior rebel commander in Lol State.
https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/army-captures-senior-rebel-commander-inlol-state
Sentry Report (2018); Banking on War: Ending the abuse of South Sudan’s banking sector by
political elites and pushing for peace. https://thesentry.org/reports/banking-on-war/
About the Writer: The Writer is a South Sudanese national living and teaching in the United
States of America. He is also pursuing a professional doctorate in Curriculum and
Instructions.

*Disclaimer: This letter, along with all its content, does not represent the views of my employer. It represents my own personal views. Questions or concerns can be directed to him through the following email: adiokmayik@yahoo.com.
 

 

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