January 22, 2013 (JUBA) - President Salva Kiir on Tuesday issued a decree sacking Lt Gen Acuil Tito Madut and appointing Lt Pieng Deng Kuol as the new head of South Sudan’s police.
- Former South Sudan police boss Acuil Tito Madut (Al Jazeera)
General Kuol served as deputy chief of general staff for finance and administration in South Sudan’s army (SPLA) before being removed from active military service and put on reserve list of senior military officers who are awaiting reassignment.
Minister of information Barnaba Marial Benjamin, who also acts as the South Sudan government spokesperson, told the BBC that the changes were made to promote younger officers.
South Sudan has denied that the shake up - the biggest since the new nation seceded from Sudan in 2011 - was related to rumours of a military coup that circulated towards the end of last year.
The SPLA’s six deputy chiefs of staff were all removed, while 29 major generals were also dismissed in the move.
Police sources said on Tuesday that the removal of Madut and his deputy is part of a new policy introducing four-year term limits for top positions in the police.
A police officer told Sudan Tribune that under the new “administrative policy” the inspector-general of the South Sudan Police Service (SSPS) “can be removed without being consulted.”
Echoing the comments of the information minister, the police source said the “reason is to allow [the] growth and promotion of [younger members of the] police force.”
However, the officer expressed dissatisfaction that the new inspector-general was appointed from the army rather than from within the police.
“There are capable police officers who should have been appointed to the post. We have people like General Manyuat Deng. We were expecting him or another senior police officer,” an officer, who did not want to be named, told Sudan Tribune in Juba.