February 13, 2014 (JUBA) – A spokesperson for the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Thursday said reports that the latter ordered the recent resignation of Warrap state’s information minister were untrue.
- South Sudan president Salva Kiir (AFP/Nicholas Kamm)
Minister Nyenaguek Kuol Mareng tendered in her resignation on 5 February after she was accused of contradicting government’s version of events that led to the mid-December outbreak of violence in the South Sudan capital, Juba.
“Get me; this is from the horse’s mouth. I spoke to the president and he told me clearly that he did not talk to Nyengaguek, so all that was said about the president is incorrect. The president did not talk to her,” Ateny Wek Ateny told Sudan Tribune on Thursday.
Ateny further said the junior minister “freely and voluntary” decided by herself to resign after government agents showed her video clips and telephone records about her activities.
“The president was not in any way involved in her resignation. What happened was that the security provided the evidences of her activities to the state governor before other officials. So what happened was within the prerogative of the governor,” stressed the presidential spokesperson.
“You know that governors have the prerogative to appoint and dismiss ministers and advisors in their respective states. They also have the same prerogative to accept resignation from their ministers. The president does not get involved,” he added.
Ms Kuol became the first state minister to quit during the current crisis, which has led to 10,000 deaths, according to the International Crisis Group. The United Nations estimates that 740,000 people have been displaced.
Multiple officials and security sources told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that Kuol was forced to resign after she openly showed support for the country’s former vice-president Riek Machar and his allied rebels.
Joseph Anei Madoor the director for public relations and political affairs in the state governor’s office, however, told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that "personal problems" prompted the minister’s resignation.