South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir Sacks Foreign Affairs Minister

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Thursday sacked a minister through a presidential decree.

He dismissed the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Beatrice Khamisa Wani appointing a former government official, Mayiik Ayii Deng as her successor

Khamisa was appointed in March 2020 following the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-RGONU) which saw the appointment of ex-rebels representing different signatories of the revitalized peace agreement into the unity government.

Prior to her appointment as foreign minister in 2020, Khamisa served as South Sudan’s ambassador to Germany. She was the second female South Sudanese politician to serve as foreign minister after Awut Deng Achuil who is now the minister of general education.

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The presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said it was a constitutional prerogative of the president to appoint and replace officials mandated to provide services and advance the policy of the government in a way that would bolster its image globally.

Deng had previously held other positions including representing a political constituency in Tonj North, Warrap State, at the national legislative assembly.

He first gained the trust of the leadership and the president in 2016 as the minister of presidential affairs after restructuring the ministries as part of the stipulations of the 2015 and 2018 revitalized peace accords required to establish a transitional government.

Deng was one of the two officials appointed in February 2020, when the parties were still negotiating how to share cabinet positions to help the president in negotiation.

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He was later removed and replaced with Nhial Deng Nhial after the president accused the former of having played a role in a failed oil-for-roads contract between the government of South Sudan and the Republic of China through a Chinese company, Shandong Hi-Speed Group Co., Ltd (SDHS).

The company later subcontracted a subsidiary company to construct Juba-Bahr El Ghazal which could not stand heavy downpour of rainwater, attracting public outcry.

Deng is a close ally of the director-general of the internal bureau of the national security service, Akol Koor Kuc, who is an influential figure in Kiir’s administration.

Multiple sources at the ministry of foreign affairs and several others at the presidency say Kuc and the presidential adviser on security affairs Tut Gatluak Manime played key roles in ensuring Deng returned to a position of influence in government.

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