JUBA (HAN) August 2.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. By FRED OLUOCH. South Sudan President Salva Kiir has further complicated the peace agreement by sacking four ministers and reshuffling the second in command belonging to his main partner, Dr Riek Machar.
While maintaining that he has been looking for ways to jump-start the stalled implementation process, President Kiir fired the four and reshuffled one other cabinet member of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement-in Opposition (SPLM-IO) contrary to the agreement.
Two deputy ministers have also been sacked.
The latest move, which comes a week after he replaced Dr Machar with Taban Deng Gai, is against the provisions of the August 2015 agreement which states that any replacement must come from either of the three partners that signed the deal.
The unilateral reshuffle has also ignored the portfolio balance that had been agreed on by the three partners.
In what the government termed as a republican decree, Mr Kiir moved the SPLM-IO second in command, Gen Alfred Ladu Gore, from the Minister of Interior to the Minister of Land, Housing, and Urban Development. He replaced Mr Gore with Michael Tiangjiek Mut.
Others include Dak Doth Bishok, the Minister of Petroleum who was replaced with Ezekiel Lul Gat, Peter Adwok Nyaba has been replaced with Yien Tut in the Ministry of Higher Education, Mabior Garang De Mabior, the former Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation has been replaced with Sofia Gai, and Peter Marcello, the Minister of Labour, has been replaced with Gabriel Duop Lam.
The Deputy Minister of the Interior Duop Lam has been replaced with Rieu Gatliek Gai, while the Deputy Minister of Labour Elizabeth Achuei has been replaced with Natake Allan.
The Minister for Information Michael Makuei, who is also the government spokesperson, on Tuesday threatened the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) that is overseeing the implementation with expulsion if the group fails to reopen their offices in Juba immediately.
JMEC, led by former Botswana President Festus Mogae, had evacuated its workers from Juba following the fighting that broke out on July 7.
This comes as full-scale fighting continues in the forest around Yei-Juba Road and as the world awaits the deployment of a regional stabilisation force.