Makuei urges public not to panic following deployment of tanks on roads in Juba

SPLA APC deployed in Juba

The Minister of Information has called on the public remain calm despite heavy deployment of military tanks in Juba.

The tanks have been stationed on the Ministries Road, Airport Road and around the Presidential Palace, J1.

Over the weekend, SPLA Spokesperson Brigadier General Lul Ruai said the heavy presence of security personnel was due to “misunderstandings” between the army and officers guarding the former Chief of General Staff, Paul Malong Awan.

Information Minister Michael Makuei says the deployment is a normal security precaution.

“The people of Juba Town should be assured that there is nothing; they should not just get scared because they are seeing tanks. Tanks are not all over the town,” he stressed.

“They are in that limited part only and that will be for the time being.”

The minister claimed that “Tanks have ever been on the roads before and I don’t know what is happening this time people are too much frightened.”

Gen. Malong’s wife Susan Ayak says her husband has been under house arrest since between May and July, an allegation the office of the President rejects.

Until last week, there were no tanks on the Airport Road, where Gen. Malong’s house is located.

When asked by the media, Makuei said:

“Being the former chief of general staff, you cannot be allowed to continue with your platoons in your house. Definitely, these are government soldiers who must be released so that they report to their respective positions and he will be left with only some soldiers who will be there with him because he is entitled to. So the president had issued an order so that these forces should go back to their respective positions.”

However, he stated that discussions to resolve the issue were ongoing.

“Efforts are underway to have this issue resolved and it will be resolved soon and things will back to normalcy,” he added.

Mr. Makuei spoke after the extra-ordinary sitting of the Council of Ministers whereby the cabinet endorsed the draft national constitution.

The draft includes the new name of the country’s army from SPLA to the South Sudan People Defense Forces and other provisions.

The endorsed draft will be presented to the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission and the Transitional Assembly for further deliberations before it is finally passed.

Source: Eye Radio