BANNED, Kiir warns army chiefs over uniforms
By Kitab A Unango &Nema Juma
Military commanders and members of organized forces should stop addressing public rallies in uniforms, President Salva Kiir Mayardit has ordered.
Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth announced the President’s order while addressing journalists after Council of Minister’s regular meeting on Friday last week.
Makuei said the President has observed that some generals and members of organized forces have been behaving like politicians in public places while in full uniform.
The practice, Makuei said should not be tolerated because some military chiefs behave like politicians.
“The President has observed that there are some commanders whether in the SSPDF or in all the other regular forces, they attend and talk in public rallies in uniforms,” Makuei said.
“The President has directed that all those who do such things should stop it immediately. No officer or anybody should attend public rally and talk while in uniform,” he added.
Makuei said it is not allowed to practice politics by organized forces, adding that commanders who want to be part of politics should quit the job and joint politics.
“They have the choice either to leave the uniform and go public and be a politician then you will be free to talk in public rallies or else be a disciplined soldier,” he stated.
Makuei added, “Even if you are attending public rallies, please do not talk because once you address the public you become a politician and you are no longer a soldier.”
Restrictions on National Anthem
In another related development, Makuei said the country’s National Anthem has been restricted and will be played only at functions presided over by the President.
He said it will not be played at occasions attended by either ministers or undersecretaries or even governors.
“It is observed that the National Anthem has been played all over and everybody is playing it at will. For the information of everybody, National Anthem is meant for official function attended by the President not for everybody,” he said.
“This should be strictly observed because it is not meant for everybody,” Makuei said.
Rejection of lawyer for Kenya Embassy
In the same meeting, the cabinet has rejected a proposed USD 56, 000 by Interior Minister to hire a lawyer for security purpose in its Embassy in Kenya.
Minister Chiengjiek said the money would be used to engage a lawyer and security for protection of embassy and citizens in Nairobi Kenya.
Makuei said it was not the government’s responsibility but the host country’s to provide protection to its diplomats.
He said the cabinet directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to look to liaise with the Kenyan authority to protect the embassy after the Red Card Movement protesters were arrested at the embassy and released without charge.
They had staged a peaceful protest on July 9th at the South Sudan embassy in Nairobi.
“It is the host country responsible for the protection of all the diplomats who are in that particular country and all the embassies that are there,” Makuei said.