Monday December 11, 2017

Defence chief Kuol Manyang Juuk offers to resign, Kiir refuses

Bith Jonathan

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JUBA – A high profile leak have surfaced that Defence Chief, Kuol Manyang Juuk has last week submitted his resignation to the President of the country, H.E. Mayardiit. According to an high profile source within the presidency that spoke to The Upper Nile Times, Kuol felt undermined by the new popularity of , the new Chief of Staff.

Awan according to the source blamed Kuol for 6 months delays of salaries of SPLA forces fighting in Greater Upper Nile and the worst conditions the fighters are in at their places of deployment.

“He felt intimidated because he thought that he’s doing enough to make the soldiers get their money on time. But the working relationship between him and Malong is not going as smooth as it should have been.” – sources disclosed

Defence Minister in April openly admitted that the government of South Sudan is footing the bills of UPDF forces fighting along the government of South Sudan against the rebels.

“lets not kid ourselves, its the government of South Sudan that pays UPDF to fight in South Sudan and not Uganda government” – Kuol once said while on a visit to Uganda.

The statement didn’t only aggravate the relationship between the lawmakers and Museveni in Uganda, it also exposed a closed door agreement between Kiir and Museveni in the war against the South Sudanese rebels. 

Malong according to the source seemed to have been misinformed about the payment lines and arrangements being made to keep UPDF, SPLM-N, SSDM and SPLA on payroll. He thought that the money have been held up by the defence Ministry for personal reasons. In a confidential meeting between Malong and Kuol, chaired by President Kiir last week, the two traded accusations on who is to blame and why the SPLA are not paid.

Kuol after the meeting secretly disclosed that he preferred working with the former Chief of Staff, Gen. Hoth Mai than Malong. Kuol last Friday submitted his resignation to President Kiir, rather over the issue but because he wants to “have time off” and to have enough time seeing his children.

He said that he will be ready to serve the country under a different portfolio rather than being a defence minister. President Kiir categorically refused the resignation, citing that personal differences cannot hold the country hostage, because the two are serving the country not themselves.  

 

Call to bring back former Chief of Staff,  Gen. Hoth Mai

 

There has been an increasing level of frustration in military since the former Chief of Staff, Gen. Hoth Mai left the country for Australia, to visit his family. President Kiir is believed to be unimpressed with Malong’s weekly report ethic, the nature of war strategies and orders he give to the many divisions fighting Dr Riek Machar rebels.

As such there were repeated calls made to Gen Hoth to come back and help the military and the president at some sort with the day today running of the SPLA affairs. Hoth repeatedly turned down the calls. 

The army has severely been affected by forces that recently withdrawn from their bases in Gadiang and Ayod (Jonglei) and Nasir (Upper Nile). The forces cited delay in their monthly salaries and lack of reinforcement in places like Nasir. The fate of the forces that left Nasir is not known but the SPLA forces that left Gatdiang went as far away as Juba. Few soldiers from these forces went to Lakes State. 

 

The Upper Nile Times 

Bith Jonathan

Bith Jonathan is an award-winning journalist and columnist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mass media and journalism from the prestigious kenyan school of mass media.


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