This article was last updated on May 26, 2022
Kuol Manyang released his statement during a press conference held at the Juba Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) headquarters, Bilpham, where he addressed a number of journalists.
The SPLA veteran fighter was trying to defuse wild rumors in the media alleging that he had submitted a resignation letter to President Salva Kiir as a result of alleged bitter relations with the Chief of Staff, Gen. Paul Malong.
“I am here to tell you that I am here in my office. My name is Kuol Manyang, the Minister of Defense of the Republic of South Sudan. The information was just created,” Kuol told journalists. “They say I have resigned because I have conflict with Gen. Pal Malong, the new General of Staff of the SPLA that he goes to the President by-passing me. This is not true,” Kuol added.
Kuol further explained that; “Gen. Paul Malong, the Chief of General Staff is the one controlling the army, managing the army and prosecuting the war in defense of the nation.”…“I am a minister that only supports his efforts helping the army to develop his capacity and to see that discipline is maintained. This is my responsibility. So there is no conflict between me and Gen. Paul Malong. We are in good working relations”.
President Kiir last Saturday was quoted by sudantribune.com website, rejecting Kuol’s resignation, saying it is not a “solution” to the “worrying” issues in the Ministry of Defense. Kiir was quoted while sharing the information with his top security officers. He said that the timing of the resignation was not “appropriate.”
Paul Malong, a longtime ally of President Kiir, was appointed by the President in late April to the position of SPLA Chief of Staff. However, inside sources have suggested that, since he took over his new position, he tends to sideline the Defense Minister in favour of direct links with the President.