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South Sudan’s Kiir rejects his defence minister’s resignation


June 21, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has rejected the resignation of his minister of defence, Kuol Manyang Juuk on the background of tense relations with the new military chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan.

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South Sudan’s defence minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, speaks after a cabinet meeting in the capital, Juba, on 17 January 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Andreea Campeanu)

Juuk presented the resignation letter to the president, saying he “wanted to have time off public life to dedicate enough time to looking after his family”.

The president in his reaction, however, acknowledged what he described as “serious” and “worrying” issues facing the ministry of defence, but said the timing of the resignation was not “appropriate” and could not accept the decision.

“Comrade Kuol, this is incredible decision to make and I cannot accept it. I know there are serious and worrying issues facing the Ministry of Defence but we must handle them with care and show of leadership,” president Kiir told his top security official.

“Resignation will not solve anything, so I do not accept your decision not because I do not respect your choice but this is not the appropriate time to make such a decision,” he cautioned.

Defence Minister Juuk last Friday submitted his resignation to President Kiir, saying he “wanted to have time off public life to dedicate enough time to looking after his family”.

Reasons for submitting resignation by defence minister remains unclear, although several cabinet ministers and members of parliament close to him have provided conflicting accounts of the events leading to the decision.

Close sources to the minister including his relatives claimed Juuk felt undermined by the monopoly of the security issues by the new chief of general staff, General Paul Malong Awan, who blamed the minister for allegedly failing to pay two months salaries to the government troops deployed to areas in Greater Upper Nile region to fight the rebels.

Malong blamed Juuk for concentrating on paying the Ugandan troops protecting the government in South Sudan at the expense of the South Sudanese army, resulting to defections and deserting of positions in many areas in Greater Upper Nile region.

General Malong, a trusted close ally of president Kiir who equally hails from Greater Bhar el Ghazal region, is also alleged to have direct communications with the president, sidelining the defence minister in decision-making processes.

“My readings are into two folds: one is the monopoly of the affairs of the ministry by the new chief of general staff, General Paul Malong Awan , whom I am told had blamed the defence minister for failing to instruct payment for two month salaries for soldiers fighting the rebels in the three states of the Greater Upper Nile region,” an insider observer told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

“I am also told General Awan goes directly to the president, instead of going through the minister. He also does not show that he is under the command of the minister,” he further speculated.

He said the new army chief also intended to introduce changes in the army without consulting with the minister of defence.

A senior government official who spoke on condition of anonymity also on Friday confirmed that minister Juuk had of recent indicated readiness to resign from the position, claiming that the latter had confided in him personally that he would prefer working with someone who appreciated the importance of teamwork, than working with someone junior who monopolizes the affairs of an institution.

It is not clear whether or not minister Juuk will reverse his decision, which comes at the time when the government has been battling the armed opposition forces under the leadership of the former vice president, Riek Machar.


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  • 22 June 2014 00:51, by Ahmed Chol

    Kuol sees with his own eyes. He should have not accepted that position in the first place in 2013. He was appointed into this position in 2008 but was rejected by Kiir’s ( Gokrial) circle in 24 hours. Now he got chosen as a minister and his own house and his village got burnt down. He doesn’t learn from past experience. He doesn’t know that he was brought in as a tool not because they like him.

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  • 22 June 2014 02:14, by Tong dut



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    • 22 June 2014 03:15, by Ito

      This is what some of us have been saying from time to time that the murderous and crumbling regime is on time bomb. No one want to wait for the bullet to hit his head or for his or her legacy to be destroy by attaching him/herself with the regime. Kuol have chosen the right path to save his life. He has seen the ugly things and now is pulling out to avoid being part of it. Mass resignation soon

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    • 22 June 2014 05:45, by Hardlinner

      Tong Dut, who do you prefer? your two times mass murderer riek. any human being with rational thinking will definitely say both kiir and riek are upto no good and should both quit politics. koul should not resign because of disrespect. if he could recall what he did to nyoun bany, then there is no reason he should quit.

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    • 22 June 2014 08:25, by laatmachol apac

      Tong Dut
      you are more stupid then your ass which you clean daily and it does not appreciate you.during the struggle President Kiir was not Stupid but in his sovereignty he is stupid. let combat and you will appreciate how Dinkas are born terrible.all dogs are hating dinkas when peace is prevailing but if we all support the instability of this country,let snip its smoke and we will flee from RSS

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      • 22 June 2014 09:30, by Thokidine

        Hi laam, hw dare should u said that we should continue fight ing when UPDF, JEM, M23, SPLM-N...etc are fighting ur war. Which Dinka are u now referring to, to continue the war with? I thought u are wise enough to stop praising Dinka whose lies have been revealed to the whole world by this recent crisis and their incompetency have gone beyond the imagination.

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  • 22 June 2014 03:56, by Philosopherking

    Well done Kuol; what a courageous man. All those who feel they do not have a hand in this murderous regime, those who feel its time for a change, those who do not want to be associated with this failed and corrupt and dictatorial government, those who care about the destruction of innocent lives and property should all leave Kirr alone, so that he alone will answer for his crimes.

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  • 22 June 2014 04:04, by Philosopherking

    Kirr does not respect anyone’s choices; not his own people not even his friends. What kind of friend or leader is this? He behaves as if South Sudan is about him and him alone....he doesn’t understand democracy and he is unfit to lead this country. Kuol and many other South Sudanese are more capable than Mr. Stupid.

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    • 22 June 2014 04:10, by Philosopherking

      My call to all State and National Assembly MP’s is that they should stand with the people of South Sudan to denounce this incompetent headless chicken who is holding South Sudanese hostage for his own personal gains. The More you support this president, the more the people will learn you don’t care about them but your jobs! We will not vote any representative who supports a genocidal govt.

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  • 22 June 2014 07:41, by Diversity

    How can a government functions in expense of other citizens/tribe a night mare you may reject their resignation today but you will eventually regret when your tribalism which has reached its peak already turns against you

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  • 22 June 2014 08:03, by Alier42

    Thank a lot for your bold move ,no one can make you feel inferior without your consent ,your contrbutions during the SPLM/A struggle can not worthy alleged issues, i for once appreciate your decision,late them just appoint whoever they think will work uder the monopolly and institutionalize incompetence system of governance.

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  • 22 June 2014 08:12, by michael coma


    I personally disagreed with president Kiir for not allowing Kuol Manyang to resign.Kuol deserved to resign as government has been manipulated by one region with terrible humiliation on other regions.Even though we are Dinkas,we need respect of duties as others do same to Kiir.

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  • 22 June 2014 08:34, by michael coma

    Kiir need to know that there are guys from his right hand who works day and night to fail his government indirect for sake of enemies.In every community there are greedy people who work just to feel their stomachs and doesn’t care about future ahead.Those who surrounded him are warmongers only.

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  • 22 June 2014 08:35, by 4Justice

    Look at shameless Kuethpiny, the man [Kuol] can’t stand the stinky stench from the decomposing Government of self-serving anti-development, anti-human hedonistic looters! no way let the man leave for christ sake.

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  • 22 June 2014 08:40, by Chol A.

    That is exactly unusual moved mr Kuol if you complaining of being blamed and undermined by chief of staff than leaving position it not solution. How many time have you undermined Kiir himself during struggle and he did not think of the way thought now. If Bor community brain wash you to create fourth bloc because you are not alike with Nuer community then it ok, otherwise it too let to leave.

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  • 22 June 2014 11:43, by Gat Gan Kiir

    Kuol has confirmed that the system had rotten to extended. We enjoy their destruction.

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  • 22 June 2014 17:42, by Buffalo

    MR.Minister you have a right to do so because a wise man can not to be killed like a sheep with hyena. Follow your way for safety. Things will fall apart very soon. Do not wait.

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  • 22 June 2014 18:09, by Mapuor

    Kuol Manyang failed to reform the SPLA,to hell with him.Let Malong Awan go ahead with reforms.Gen Malong is now the only hope of all freedom fighters. To hell with people who allow soldiers food, attire, money etc to be looted at broad day light.SPLA OYEE.Do ahead Gen Makong,all SPLA officers,NCOs and men are behind you,Don’t despair because of Kuol resignation.

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