South Sudan’s Ex-Army Chief in ‘Fighting Mood’ After Abrupt Dismissal

South Sudan’s Ex-Army Chief in ‘Fighting Mood’ After Abrupt Dismissal
Riek Machar, South Sudan's former first vice president, and President Salva Kiir, right, after the first meeting of a new transitional government, Juba, South Sudan, April 29, 2016 (AP photo by Jason Patinkin).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir’s decision to remove his army chief, Gen. Paul Malong, risked aggravating a civil war that has already killed tens of thousands and created conditions that the U.N. has warned could result in genocide.

Malong’s dismissal was announced Tuesday. Reuters noted that it came “after a slew of resignations by senior generals alleging tribal bias and war crimes.” A presidential spokesman initially denied there was a feud between Malong and Kiir, and Malong himself vowed not to take up arms against the government. But by Friday, Kiir was warning that Malong—who left Juba, the capital, for his home region earlier in the week—might be itching for conflict. “When I talked to him last, he was not in a good mood, he was in a fighting mood,” Kiir said. “I tried to calm him down, but he was rather wild.”

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