President Kiir appoints New Army Chief of Staff

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has been criticized for lifting previously imposed restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.

President Kiir appoints New Army Chief of Staff

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has appointed a new Army Chief of Staff.

This comes a few days after he fired former holder of the position Gen Paul Malong.

About three days ago, the President had sacked Military Chief Gen Jok Riak.

The move, necessitated by the formation of a government of national unity back in February, means the new appointed heads would be leading one of the most important departments in the South Sudanese government.

Gen Jok Riak was sacked from his post today in a move seen as the President’s exercising of his constitutional powers to appoint and remove army officials.

The sackings, however, have created some fear and worry among the countrymen with past experience showing that sacked leaders often ended up as rebels.

“Sackings in the past, notably Gen Malong and Dr Riek Machar, have shown that those officials can continue pushing their grievances through rebel movements,” said a political analyst.

In December 2013, a disagreement over how to run the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) created a mutiny within the army as those loyal to Vice President Machar fought against those loyal to President Kiir.

The result was a civil war that has lasted until this year, despite numerous ceasefire agreements. It ended with Dr Machar back in government as the First Vice President, a result of a 2018 peace deal known as the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).