By David Mono Danga

The Minister of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs, Eng. Kuol Manyang said Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the country’s main opposition leader, has been a destabilizing element in the country since the early 1990s.

In an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor at his Bilpam office yesterday, Minister Kuol Manyang said Dr. Machar almost crushed the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) party due to the atrocities he committed.

“Riek Machar has been a destabilizing factor in South Sudan’s liberation movement and political scenario far too long. In 1991; he caused distraction and retardation of the war of liberation. He caused a lot of distractions but was forgiven, he went to Sudan and came back and caused more destructions, the 2013 and 2016 conflicts that almost crushed the SPLM party. But SPLM held its ground and regained 80 percent of the areas under its control,” Minister Kuol Manyang said.

He said whenever Dr. Machar created chaos in the country, he would run to Khartoum for help and the government of Sudan would just give him any support he asks for because Sudan did not want a strong South Sudan then.

The Minister declared that he did not know what the government of Sudan gained from supporting South Sudanese rebels, wondering what Machar and his group was telling the government of Khartoum in order to be given military supplies to fight South Sudan.

“I know Dr. Riek Machar and his group doesn’t have money, so what have they promised the government of Sudan. These are questions the people of South Sudan should ask because these are tax payer’s money, which Khartoum is using to buy arms for another person (militias),” the Minister added.

Minister Kuol Manyang also urged the media and the Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs, both local and international; to be partial and neutral, saying negative reports the media and NGOs disseminate discourages investors from coming to in the country.

“The media should play their role by informing the people, be neutral and tell the truth. Educate people on what should be done.”

“Our youth and people are playing negative politics on Social Media. Even those who are out of the country and have become citizens of those countries are reporting as if they are in South Sudan.”

“Now those negative elements are making people (in Diaspora) think that Juba is Hell. But people are here, where is the Hell? We don’t see Hell they are talking about. Where is the insecurity these people are talking about?” Minister Manyang demanded.

He said, “the NGOs continue to write negative reports because it is these negative reports that puts South Sudan under Chapter Seven (7) that scares away investors from coming to the country and makes them (NGOs) to continue to get benefits. The coming in, of investors will make them lose the benefits they are getting.”

“They say 7.8 million people are hungry but when you see the people who are being given food, they look very healthy. Someone is carrying a whole sack of flour alone, is he hungry?”

The Minister also appealed to South Sudanese in Diaspora to desist from spreading negative propaganda, saying peace will hopefully come back if citizens stand up and work together for sustainable peace.

Read the full interview tomorrow.