South Sudan
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South Sudan army chief sacked

South Sudan’s Kiir. Photo: AFP

Juba, May 9, 2017 (SSNA) — South Sudanese national army (SPLA) Chief of General Staff Paul Malong Awan has been fired and replaced with James Ajongo Awut, according to a decree broadcasted live on the state-controlled South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation Television (SSBCTV).

Tension is very high here in Juba as soldiers loyal to President Kiir are deployed on Juba streets and plainclothes national security agents drive in and around the capital telling people to go inside their houses.

The South Sudan News Agency has been told by a senior government official that any politician from Aweil community suspected of being a supporter of the sacked army General has been detained.

The official added that nobody knows what will happen as factions of the SPLA loyal to Awan have also blocked roads leading to Awan’s residence, warning, “If he [Awan] refuses to surrender his power peacefully, then Juba could burn.”

It is not clear what cause Awan’s removal. However, rumors about Awan wanting to overthrow Kiir’s government have been swirling in Juba.