South Sudan’s president sacks army chief

President Salva Kir

South Sudan’s president has sacked the country’s army chief Johnson Juma Okot alongside three other senior intelligence officers.

President Salva Kiir in a decree aired on State television (SSBC) on Saturday evening replaced Okot with Santino Deng Wol.

Okot was appointed chief of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) in May last year to replace Gabriel Riak Jok. No reasons were given for the decision to sack the officials by the presidency.

Kiir also replaced Nhial Deng Nhial as minister of presidential affairs with Barnaba Marial Benjamin. Benjamin, prior to being appointed minister of presidential affairs, had been the lead negotiator of the government in talks with hold-out opposition groups in Rome, Italy.

These opposition groups refused to sign the 2018 revitalized peace agreement in Ethiopia.In addition, Kiir also sacked Reuben Malek, deputy minister of defense and veterans affairs replacing him with Chol Thon Balok.The president also sacked the director-general of external intelligence Thomas Duoth, replacing the latter with Simon Yien Makuac.

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