JUBA – South Sudan’s defense minister’s office has said in a statement on Saturday that it will not accept criticisms over Moroto fighting that it said are meant to tarnish the image of minister Angelina Teny, saying the senior government official who is also the SPLM/SPLA (IO) chairperson of security and defense has done nothing wrong.
Since September, fighting has been taking place in Moroto, a joint training center, between SPLA-IO and the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), with the SPLA-IO accusing the SSPDF of launching attacks to support a former opposition commander who had defected from the main armed opposition group to the SSPDF.
As fighting raged on, SPLM-IO members took to social media to criticisms Mrs. Teny for allowing the attacks to take place in her watch, with some angry SPLA-IO activists calling for the senior government official to resign from the senior government position.
However, in a statement on Saturday, Teny’s office dismissed as subjective, the social media criticisms saying the country’s defense minister won’t accept such actions that the statement said are meant to tarnish her image.
“The Office of the Minister of Defence and Veteran’s Affairs sighted with concern the trending attacks on social media against the Defence Minister, Hon. Angelina Jany Teny by some aggrieved SPLM/A-IO cadres who are rightly angry with the violations against the SPLA-IO forces in Morota Training Centre,” the statement seen by Sudans Post reads in part.
“Much as the Minister is opened to any constructive criticism, it should be noted that subjective criticisms meant to tarnish her image as a person is not welcomed,” the statement added, stressing that the defense minister “understands the pain caused by the violations against the Security Arrangements not only in Morota but all over South Sudan.”
The statement said the continued government attacks on SPLA-IO position represents “real threats to the R-ARCSS. However, it is important to know which body or structure is responsible for command and control of the forces.”
“It is therefore, very clear that the Defence Minister doesn’t have any command and control over any force, but as the Defence Minister and a member of the NTC, she has the responsibility to direct the JDB to exercise to arrest the situation on the ground since they are in charge of the forces to the agreement; which she did several times already.
“Secondly it should be noted that on 7/10/2020, the Minister showed courage by visiting both forces of the SPLA-IO and SSPDF after the first violations in Morota and directed the JDB to investigate the clashes that occurred and bring those responsible to account. This can’t just go unrecognized if we seriously mean to acknowledge ones efforts towards stopping the aggression in Morota.”