Juba, South Sudan,
July 11, 2021 – The National Security Service is reportedly divided over the leadership succession plan by President Salva Kiir Mayardit according to a leaked internal memo sent to Nyamilepedia.
The document forwarded by a source who sought anonymity says four days to the country’s 10th independence anniversary, Kiir held an indaba at his private residence near the famous J-1.
The source with a clear understanding of the meeting said senior members of the national security organ were in attendance and that Kiir briefed them about his deteriorating health condition that might complicate his presidential duties.
“Kiir called for a family meeting on 5th July 2021 at 11.30 pm at his private residence near J1. In attendance were Gen. Lual Maroldit of Tiger Battalion, Akot Lual, Thiik Thiik (Juba Deputy Mayor for Infrastructure), Ayendit, Thiik, and Kuek (an elder),” part of the report says. “He told them that he is very weak health-wise and he might not be able to carry out his duties as a leader anymore.”
The source said Kiir made his succession intention known during the meeting and made Nhial Deng Nhial, the former Minister of Presidential Affairs as one of the two contenders; the other being Akol Koor Kur, the Director for the National Internal Security Bureau.
“He told them that he has the intention to hand over power to Nhial or Akol,” the document says adding that Nhial emerges as the favorite of more than a third of those that attended the meeting.
“It’s on that pronouncement that the majority of the attendees okayed Nhial as the most preferable since he has no attached to military matters in the country and more appealing to the international community since Akol Koor has tainted the image of the country through his cruelness in the security sector,” the source says.
However, Kiir who fired Nhial from his ministerial post less than three months ago opposed the idea of handing over power to him but preferred Ako Koor to the dismay of many attendees.
“It’s at this juncture [that] Kiir de-emphasized Nhial compared to Akol Koor,” it says adding that Kiir threatened the forfeit the presidency to a rival region if the group would not accept Akol Koor.
“When he realized the attendees were not comfortable with Akol Koor, he threatened them that he will return the leadership to Bor, especially Twic East so that Majak Agoot take over,” the document reveals.
The report says the unwelcoming proposal to install Majak sparked an uproar, prompting Lual Maroldit to urgently call Santino Deng Wol, the General Chief of Staff, to come to the meeting for further deliberations and a retreat happened.
“Kiir, Lual, and Santino retreated privately for a short discussion on the matter. An argument ensued between Kiir and Lual and it’s at this juncture Lual told Kiir that if you bring Akol Koor as your replacement, I and Santino will kill him before sunset,” the source said. The pair, Lual, and Santino left the meeting prematurely and unhappily.
The source claims that the “Top Secret” document that was released earlier this month was done intentionally by Akol Koor after he was informed privately about the meeting in Kiir’s private residence.
“He released it as a way of threatening people and the country on the looming succession politics,” it says.