South Sudan army has defended the decision by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to promote politicians to high ranks in the country’s army.

Last week, Kiir who is also the commander-in-chief of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) promoted many politicians to the rank of Lieutenant General and Major General.

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Those who were promoted include presidential adviser on security affairs Tut Gatluak, energy minister Dhieu Mathok, deputy foreign minister Deng Dau, Lol governor Rizik Zachariah, and Northern Liech governor Nguen Monytuil.

The promotion has triggered a debate on social media

“The president has the prerogative to promote those whom he deems fit to serve in this capacity, and nobody can question presidential powers stipulated in the country’s constitution,” General Lul Ruai Koang, South Sudan’s military spokesman was quoted by Radio Tamazuj.

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“The president has promoted only five officers, so the other names being circulated on social media are fabricated.