S. Sudan’s ex-army intelligence chief welcomes new task

September 16, 2017 (JUBA) – The former head of South Sudan’s military intelligence service, General Nuor Marial says he warmly welcomes his new posting to the country’s foreign affairs ministry.

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President Salva Kiir addresses the nation at the South Sudan National Parliament in Juba, November 18, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomon)

On Wednesday, President Salva Kiir issued a republican order removing Gen. Nuor from the directorate of military intelligence and placed him in the foreign affairs ministry as third grade ambassador.

A separate order from the South Sudan leader saw Nuor appointed an ambassador but, no immediate replacement was announced.

“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”, Nuor told Sudan Tribune Saturday.

Describing himself as a soldier, the ex-military intelligence chief said he just takes orders without questions and executes any assignment.

“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,” stressed Nuor.

He added, “There is no difference. The mission is one, serving our people”.

Relatives, however, claimed Nuor did not appreciate the new changes, citing the lack of experience in foreign affairs matters.

The ex- military intelligence officer reportedly saw his appointment by the president to foreign service as a demotion and preferred either a return to the police service or be assigned to the national security service, instead of foreign service without prior background.

Observers have interpreted Nuor’s removal from active service to mean the continuous implementation of a strategy aimed at identifying and removing from influential positions those close to ex-chief army staff, Paul Malong Awan, who recommended Nuor’s reinstatement into active military service and assigning him a key position.

Both Nuor and Awan were appointed in April 2014 through a presidential order. Awan was governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, while Nuor headed the police criminal investigation department, where he was on numerous occasions accused of orchestrating torture and operating illegal detention centers in Juba.