Is Kuol Manyang Resigning The South Sudan Government?

The Defense Minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, in his previous office in Bor(Photo: ST)

The Defense Minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, in his previous office in Bor(Photo: ST)

June 23, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Media outlets in the last few days have circulated a report on an attempt resignation, made to the president by the Defense Minsiter, Kuol Manyang Juuk.

Sources believe that Manyang presented a resignation letter to president Kiir, claiming that he wanted time off to look after his family.

The reports, however, exposed a possible power struggle between the defense minister and the chief of staff. While Manyang believes that the former governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Gen. Malong Awan, should report directly to his office, it is speculated that the Chief of Staff reports directly to Salva Kiir, sidelining the former governor of Jonglei state.

Malong is believed to have raised and discussed burning issues with the president, pointing fingers at the defense minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk. Although the president has reportedly acknowledged the “serious and worrying issues”, he believes that resignation is not an alternative.

“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,” the president explained.

The online Sudan Tribune reports that the president turned down Manang’s request due to timing issues.

“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.

Sources believe that Gen. Malong blames his counterpart for delayed payment of salaries, which is constantly cited by the defecting soldiers. Many loyalists have reportedly abandoned their defense positions in the last three weeks but the routine continues for the same reasons.

More than 70% of the army defected from the government within the first two months of the conflict but recruitment has continued to fill up the loopholes.

Kuol Manyang Denies The Circulation.

The minister of defense in his recent interviews with Australian based Dinka radio, SBS, and with the London based, Asharq Al-Awsat, denied having presented a resignation letter.

Manyang believes that the circulation is a “harmful rumors”, which was intended to divide the internal front.

“Those who started the rumors and those who believed them were trying to divide the [government] and create differences which do not exist between [its] members . . . They are harmful rumors.”

The minister of defense reiterated that he would present his resignation letter to the president, as alleged, but not to a news paper or websites.

“If there is a resignation to be made, I will not present it to the newspapers or the websites; I will present it to the president,” he said.

South Sudan government has been sensitive of the media. Sensitive issues are preferably discussed under limited media influence or treated with care when it’s leaked to the media.

More updates to follow …