March 6, 2017, South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has reached the final stage to get ride of a few powerful politicians, mostly from his Dinka tribe, who have been very supportive in his struggles in the last three years.
Acording to insiders, the senior military generals and elderly Dinka politicians have built massive powers and wealth within the last three years, and as their influence within the army and civil population continues to widen, these generals and politicians are perceived as major internal threat to Salva Kiir’s leadership.
The insiders, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisal, reveal that at this point, President Salva Kiir has advanced plans to reshuffle the army and his cabinet to distance “some powerful” Dinka politicians and military generals.
The credible source claim that Mr. Kiir, who is very determined to maintain power for many years, has prepared enough to “reshuffle” the military without resistance.
According to the leaked report, the reshuffle will affect the current Chief of General Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, his loyal Deputy Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. James Ajongo, Minister of Defense, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, Director of External Security, Gen. Thomas Duoth Guet and a few powerful others.
On the other hand, the Commander in Chief will promote Gen. Malek Reuben, Gen. Ring Ding Manor, Gen. Mabuto Mamuor, Gen. Akol Kordit and Governor Luis Lobong.
The confidential report entails that President Kiir has appointed the following officers:
- Gen. Malek Reuben, the Chief of General Staff,
- Gen. Akol Kordit, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operation,
- Gen. Thomas Duoth Guet, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics,
- Gen. Maboto Mamur, minister of defense and veterans affairs,
- Gen. Ring Ding Mabor (Jenpil), Director General for internal security.
- Luis Lobong, Director General for external security.
- Paul Malong Awan, Minister of National security
- Gen. James Ajongo, Governor of Northern Bhar al ghazal State.
- Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, Adviser.
To loyalists, who support these appointments among others, President Salva Kiir is acting within the SPLM/A constitutions and code of conduct to fill positions of Deputy Chief of Staffs, which were vacated through resignations of Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka and Lt. Gen. Bapiny Manytuil.
The president did not justify the alleged reshuffling and sacking of senior military generals, however, many observers doubt if President Salva Kiir really controls the army under the leadership of Gen. Paul Malong Awan.
Gen. Malong has been accused by his deputies and SPLA Judge, who recently resigned, for controlling the army like a personal property.
According to the insiders, Gen. Paul Malong has also quarreled and silenced the Minister of Defense, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, and bypassed him to address the army issues with President Salva Kiir directly.
Within the last six months, senior army generals and elderly politicians, including members of Jieng Council of Elders, have resigned or defected from SPLA/M, suggesting that President Kiir could be losing popularity among his internal circle and the Jieng Council of Elders.
Whether Gen. Paul Malong, also known as King Paul by his supporters, will resist these alleged changes or not is yet to be seen