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JUBA - 21 Feb 2020

Kiir dissolves entire government, appoints new VPs

File photo: South Sudan President Salva Kiir
File photo: South Sudan President Salva Kiir

President Salva Kiir has dissolved his cabinet and sacked his two vice-presidents just one day before the formation of a unity government, a key step in a long-delayed peace process.

In a presidential decree announced on state broadcaster SSBC this evening, Kiir fired all members of his government as he seeks a new coalition government with opposition groups by Saturday’s deadline.

Government posts, as per peace agreement, are shared between President Kiir, opposition leader Riek Machar and other opposition parties.

Following talks with opposition leader Riek Machar on Thursday, Kiir notified his ministers of the new changes set to take place terming it a major step in putting an end to the country’s civil war.

Those removed include the first vice president, Gen. Taban Deng Gai and vice president Dr. James Wani Igga.

Separately, Kiir decreed Gai’s replacement with his rival Dr. Riek Machar as First Vice President in the transitional government of national unity. He also appointed three other vice presidents in accordance with the revitalised peace deal.

The three vice presidents are Taban Deng Gai, James Wani Igga, and Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior.

The fourth vice president position for the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) is still vacant. According to reports, members of the opposition alliance are yet to agree on the finalist candidate to assume the position.

In another decree, Kiir reappointed Mayiik Ayii Deng as minister of presidential affairs and Tut Gatluak as national security affairs adviser. It is not immediately clear whether many former ministers in President Kiir’s camp would be returned, or if new blood would be brought in to replace them.