South Sudan presidential spokesperson disowns suspension reports

April 17, 2018 (JUBA) – The spokesperson of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Tuesday has dismissed as “fake” reports claiming he has been suspended from his assignment.

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South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny (AFP)

Ateny Wek Ateny said the social media reports were a creation of “rumour mongers to create disharmony at the South Sudanese presidency.

While Ateny denies social media reports, sources at the presidency told Sudan Tribune that there is a feeling within the presidential palace that Ateny should be replaced with someone with technical knowledge of the job.

The sources confirmed that Ateny Wek is still officially occupying the job and he has not been suspended or sacked from his duties.

However, “there has been a general feeling from among senior officials here at the presidency that the work which comrade Ateny Wek is doing requires someone with technical knowledge of the job,” said a high ranking official who spoke on conditions of anonymity.

The sources further stressed that Ateny “was picked from activism for a political reason” no more.

The presidential spokesperson is blamed for not observing a number of guidelines when he deals with sensitive issues. Officials at the presidency say he does not understand that he speaks on behalf of the president.

He was also accused of interfering in the attribution of the information minister who is the government spokesperson.

Other officials at the presidential palace described all these issues as “professional jealousy” saying the president is satisfied with him and the audience understands that when he speaks he does not fully represent President Kiir’s opinion.

(ST)