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South Sudanese self-imposed exile diplomat returns to Juba after months

August 25, 2018

By Deng Machol

Telar Deng

Telar Deng

South Sudanese politician and former ambassador to Russia Telar Deng returned to Juba on Thursday after several months of self-imposed exile in Kenya, followed the signed power-sharing peace deal in Khartoum, Sudan.

Deng, a former ambassador to Russia, resigned from the Kiir administration in January over alleged mistrust. He is a former ally of President Salva Kiir.

On 25 January 2018, Juba summoned for consultations Deng who was South Sudan’s ambassador to Moscow but instead of returning to Juba he resigned from his position. Following what his old chum President Kiir issued a presidential decree sacking him from the government and ambassadorial services.

Since Deng appeared with the opposition leaders in Nairobi and he was allied to the former SPLA chief of staff Paul Malong. He becomes a senior politician and member in South Sudan United Front (SSUF) led by ex-army chief Malong till he returned to Juba on August 23.

Initially associated with former army chief of staff turned rebel leader, General Paul Malong Awan, former presidential adviser Telar Deng was part of the mediation team that convinced the former to come back to Juba from Yirol town in May last year.

Deng’s returns also comes after a week’s president Kiir has granted “amnesty” to the people and other estrange people who waged war against his government. This amnesty have great impact on Malong’s groups, as week ago, senior military Brig General Garang Chan and other senior politicians returned to government with hundreds of soldiers.

However, the South Sudanese presidency confirmed that Deng arrived in Juba in an efforts to resolves the differences with president’s government.

Speaking to the press at Juba International Airport upon arrival from Nairobi, Amb. Deng said he left rebellion to reconcile with the government in an effort to boost peace building, adding that he has returned home with a belief that it is better to settle political differences amicably.

“I have been away from home for nearly one year, I have come no matter differences we have made as a nation and as a people – there is always a room for us to sit to resolve our differences. It doesn’t matter how much we have disagreed, its important always to sit down and iron out the differences.” Deng told the journalists.

Meanwhile, Deng’s return was also welcomed through the social media where many praised the move saying it is time for peace and reconciliation.

The observers said the move taken by ex-diplomat as a well-known politician is in the interest of peace in the country and towards to demilitarize the politics and political wrangling through peaceful means.

“This conflict must be ended through dialogue,” said 25 years South Sudanese, resident in Juba.

Before, Deng’s wrote a series of articles calling for a comprehensive peace process including all the South Sudanese without consideration to the sanctions imposed by the international community on any one of them.

Last June, he welcomed the inclusion of SPLM-IO leader Machar in the peace process adding “IGAD should also include the newly formed parties that are already on the ground. The left out movements will definitely carry on with the war regardless of the UNSC sanctions”.

The IGAd reportedly refused to include Malong in the revitalization process pointing to the international sanctions imposed on him.

The former diplomat that the country need peace and that peace cannot be brought by one person but should be brought by all people of South Sudan. He further urged the entire citizens to take this chance as opportunity for resolves differences through peacefully mean, but no longer on gun option.

“We used to mistake which is an error and whoever a human being you make error but error remain an error as longer as you don’t correct it and error remain an error until it’s not corrected.” Deng said.

The ongoing conflict has devastated South Sudanese lives and homes, ten thousand people has reported killed and 2.5 million people has been displaced from their homes.

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