JUBA, South Sudan said it has resolved the standoff with ex-army (SPLA) Chief of General Staff Paul Malong by withdrawing hundreds of soldiers that had been surrounding the latter's home following more than one week of standoff over his bodyguards.
SPLA spokesperson Lul Ruai Koang, in a statement on Sunday night in Juba announced the peaceful resolution of the standoff between the government and Malong.
"SPLA announces peaceful resolution of misunderstanding between the government and the former Chief of General Staff," he said.
He disclosed that Malong who was sacked in May by President Salva Kiir finally accepted the presidential order to allow withdrawal of the over 30 bodyguards from his home.
"Security review was undertaken which indicated lack of real security threats to the government in particular and residents of Juba in general," Koang said of the reasons behind the withdrawal.
He also added that the decision will help reduce and eliminate uncertainty created by deployment of security forces around the residence of the former Chief of General Staff, and will help to build confidence between the government and Malong.
Koang also said Malong's house confinement since the beginning of November had caused inconvenience to several road users in the capital and that peaceful settlement of this once contentious matter will free up some roads for public use.
The United States Department of the Treasury this year indicted and effected asset freeze for Malong and other two senior ranking officers accused of fanning the more than three years of violence and obstructing peace efforts.
Hundreds of soldiers on armored personnel carriers (APC) had until surrounded the former army chief's residence on the pretext he may escape with his bodyguards, after the government in May had blocked him with his heavily armed troops in Yirol Western Lakes state en route to his home area of Aweil in Northern Bahr El Ghazal.