21st January 2021
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Kiir appoints Jonglei governor, 2 new national ministers

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Denay Jok who served as Minister of Higher Education has been replaced by Gabriel Changson. Courtesy

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has named Denay Jok Chagor as governor for Jonglei state following weeks of stalemate over the choice for the position.

The state was allocated to the South Sudan Opposition Alliance in the June 2020 deal between President Kiir and Dr. Machar, SPLM-IO leader.

Denay who served as Minister of Higher Education until this evening was first relieved from the cabinet position, before being appointed to the helm of state leadership.

He has been replaced by Gabriel Changson Chang as the new Minister for Higher Education.

Denay’s appoint comes after weeks of disagreements within the South Sudan Opposition Alliance.

A section of the alliance led by the Chairperson, Josephine Joseph rejected the allocation of Jonglei state as their share.

They demanded Upper Nile state which has been allocated to the SPLM-IO.

But a section led by SSOA Secretary-General, Dr. Lam Akol accepted the allotment and went ahead to nominate Majok Diel as governor.

Mr. Diel is the Secretary-General of the National Democratic Movement, Dr. Lam Akol’s party.

A week later, the Federal Democratic-led by Gabriel Changson Chang told Eye Radio that they too nominated the now former Minister of Higher Education, Denay Jok to take up the governorship position.

READ: SSOA divided over who nominates Jonglei governor

But the National Democratic Movement insisted that it is its turn to nominate a candidate on behalf of the coalition.

The deadlock was broken this evening through the appointment of Denay and Changson.

President Kiir did not, however, name a governor for Upper Nile state.

Two weeks ago, James Gatdet, the spokesperson of the First Vice President said the SPLM-IO nominated all the 3 governors for the states allocated to it.

In response, the Press Secretary in the Office of the President, Ateny Wek told Eye Radio that the SPLM-IO nominated Johnson Olony, a decision he said the President turned down.

Ateny argued that Olony is an active soldier, whom State House, J1 believes has not fully subjected himself to the political developments in Juba and is not “within the territories that are controlled by SPLM-IO or by the government.”

But Mr. Gatdet dismissed the assertion insisting that Olony is “a general in the SPLA-IO, which is a recognized army.”

READ: Upper Nile gubernatorial vacuum partly explained

According to the revitalized peace agreement, the appointment of constitutional and judicial office holders including state governors is one of the powers exercised by the President but in consultation with the First Vice President, and the four Vice Presidents.

The new peace deal also stipulates that decision making in the Presidency shall be in a spirit of collegial collaboration.

Meanwhile, President Salva Kiir has further appointed Deng Alor Kuol as Minister for East African Affairs.

The position was left vacant following the death of John Luk Jok in June.

Both Alor and late Jok are leaders of the SPLM-Former Detainees.

The decrees were read on the state television on Wednesday evening.

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