S. Sudan former head of military intelligence welcomes appointment to foreign ministry

File photo for Gen. Paul Malong Awan (R) with Marial Nuor (Photo Anthony Chimir)

September 16, 2017 (JUBA)- The former head of military intelligence service in the South Sudanese army said he accepts his appointment at the foreign ministry denying reports he was refusing a decision by President Salva Kiir, moving him from the army without his consent.

“Who told you I have declined the new assignment? I did not talk to anybody. These are the creations of people who want cause confusion from nothing so that there could be something. Tell them they will not get what they want”, Gen. Marial Nuor the ex-director of the military intelligence told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

Nuor said he was a soldier and soldiers does not ask explanations but execute orders.

“The commander in chief decides to make changes in the army and deploy people where he sees them fit. So for your information and the general public, I welcomed my assignment the very moment the changes were made and I contacted the office of the president and the ministry of foreign affairs. I have no objection to the decision of the president. I was serving the people in the army and I will continue to serve them in the new assignment. There is no difference. The mission is one, serving our people,” said Nuor.

President Salva Kiir on Wednesday issued a Republican Order removing Gen. Nuor from the directorate of military intelligence and moved him to Foreign Service as third-grade ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No immediate replacement was announced. Another order appointed Nuor as an ambassador at the foreign ministry.

However, relatives and close family members claimed Nuor did not appreciate the change, citing lack of experience in foreign services. The former top intelligence officer, sources told Sudan Tribune, saw the appointment as third-grade ambassador as a demotion and preferred either a return to police service or assignment in the national security service instead of foreign affairs ministry without prior background.

Observers link the presidential decision to the “purge” in the army and government institutions for military or officials loyal or close to Paul Malong Awan. The former chief army staff recommended the reinstatement of Nuor into active military service and his assignment at the key position.

Nuor and Awan were appointed the same in April 2014 by a presidential order after the sack of the former SPLA chief of general staff, James Hoth Mai, and the head of military intelligence, Major General Mac Paul Kuol.