Al Neelain University has awarded an honorary doctorate to General Paul Malong Awan, the Chief of General Staff of the Sudan People's Liberation Army.
The "special" recognition, according to Al Neelain University, is as a result of the General's immense contribution to a harmonious and peaceful existence between different communities in South Sudan and Sudan.
Speaking in Juba on Saturday during the event that was attended by President Salva Kiir, the university's representative Al Rashid Ismail said they decided to recognise Mr Malong "for encouraging social peace between the Misseriya, Rizeigat and Dinka Malual tribes."
"He did this while he was the Governor of Northern Bahr al Ghazal State; he ensured that there existed togetherness among the Rizeigat, Misseriya and Dinka Malual communities. It is in no doubt that in his current portfolio as SPLA chief, he continues to inculcate this," said Prof Ismail.
The don pointed out that as part of the recognition of Mr Malong's efforts, the university would offer 100 scholarships for South Sudan students in Malong’s name. "The Faculty of Pharmacology will also be renamed Paul Malong College," he added.
President Kiir called on the Misseriya tribe to continue respecting the peace accord they have with the Dinka Malual, observing that unity is a crucial ingredient for any economy to prosper.
"Whatever you do, you do it for others. Let us continue with the mission of integrating communities in this country that has a very strong future. Mr Malong went to war with me; he is one of my generals. His hard work has been wholly recognised in the region," said the president.
While accepting the commendation, the General said he will continue propagating for a united people, saying that a peaceful South Sudan is a peaceful Eastern Africa.