Resign: Baluang tells Lul for donning SPLM beret

Resign: Baluang tells Lul for donning SPLM beret

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), called for the resignation of the Spokesperson of SSPDF, Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai argued that he breached the ethics of the national army on neutrality.

This came after Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai was spotted donning an SPLM cap in a photo on his Facebook page on Saturday.

In an exclusive interview with The City Review on Sunday, SPLM-IO Director of Information and Acting Press Secretary in the office of the First Vice President, Puok Baluang, slammed Lul for wearing an SPLM cap, saying the act demonstrated that he was unfit to serve as a national army spokesperson.

“We are urging Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai to resign from his position or for the president to take proper measures if we are really genuine about the full implementation of the peace agreement,” Baluang said.

He added, “Someone in such a significant position should not have known which is which. Secondly, he has been in that position, assuming that he is professional in what he is doing, if he claimed that he does not have any knowledge about this matter it means that he is not capable of the position. And if he does know his role, it also means he did it intentionally, then he does not deserve to be in the position.”

Baluang alleged that there have also been breaches from government officeholders who are expected to steer clear of political partisanship while still taking sides.

  He said in recent months, the Chief Justice and National Election Committee were also spotted wearing an SPLM beret at a political rally in Wau, and that the country is not ready for elections if such actions are carried out by people in positions of authority over the December elections.

“This indicates that whatever we are saying, the country is not ready for election. For example, the chief justice attended a political rally for the SPLM-IG in Wau and also a group of National Election Committee attending a function of the SPLM-IG and now this one. So, these are the most important institutions concerning elections and also concerning reforms in this country by having a stable country through crucial institutions according to the agreement,” he stated.

However, The City Review could not independently verify these claims.

Baluang noted that the SPLM-IO is committed to advocating for the implementation of the peace agreement.

“The security sector has been politicised and tribe militias are there. So, one of the reasons is that we could have a stable country to reform the security sector,” he stressed.

He stated that Lul had violated the directives of President Kiir, hence, he was unqualified to be the spokesperson for the national army.

“When the spokesperson of the national army shows off a certain political party’s beret, it shows that it is a lack of professionality, it is indicating that the security sector is still unreformed, and it is a violation of the directives of the president whereby he directed all the security audit not to take part in any political activities,” he alleged.

Calls President Kiir to act

Baluang urged President Kiir to ensure that his directives are implemented by the country’s security organs.

“We are calling on the president of the country and one of the principals to ensure the implementation of the peace agreement and the implementation of the presidential directives by the security organs,” he stated.

“And if the spokesperson for the national army conducts such activities, then there is a need to double our efforts as political parties to reform the security sector or to replace him with someone that will adhere to the ethics of the national army,” he said.

On August 31, 2022, during the graduation of the first batch of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF), President Kiir urged the forces not to pay allegiance to any other leaders but to the country and the commander-in-chief.

 “From today, you are not a military wing of any party to the conflict. You are now the first national security sector organ of the Republic of South Sudan,” Kiir said.

“As the president of the republic, I am your commander-in-chief. If your commanders-in-chief were the chairperson of SPLM-IO, Dr. Riek Machar, or Hussein Abdelbagi or any other unknown commander-in-chief, now you belong to the Republic of South Sudan,” he added.

But when contacted by The City Review, Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai, bluntly claimed that he was solely celebrating his wife’s appointment as Jonglei State’s Information Minister, nothing else.

“Well, it is true and as an ordinary citizen, I also have an inalienable right to celebrate because my dear wife, Hon. Marlin David Kuony Jany, was appointed Minister of Information and Communication and official spokesperson of Jonglei State Government,” he stated.