March 30 (EUROPA PRESS) –
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has appointed Chol Thon Balok as the new defense minister, replacing Angelina Teny, who was sacked earlier this month, a move that sparked tensions with the opposition People’s Liberation Movement. of Sudan-In Opposition (SPLM-IO).
Balok, a member of Kiir’s party, was until now deputy defense minister, although he is now replacing Teny, who was fired on March 3, the day she was appointed interior minister, prompting criticism from the former rebel group, led by the now first vice president, Riek Machar.
During the inauguration ceremony, Kiir called on the new minister to “reorganize the Army and disarm the civilian population in Juba and other parts of the country”, as well as “carry out his duties diligently” to advance in the implementation of the 2018 peace agreement.
For his part, Balok has reiterated his commitment to apply the security agreements “to achieve a lasting peace” and has assured that he will work together with the rest of the Government to “reorganize the Army” and address “the well-being” of the military , according to a statement published by the South Sudanese Presidency on its Facebook social network account.
Kiir and Machar met on March 10 to try to come to terms with the tensions caused by the aforementioned dismissals, which implied that the Defense portfolio was transferred to their party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Government (SPLM-IG). , while the portfolio remained in the hands of the SPLM-IO.
In response, Machar’s SPLM-IO party, a former political rival of the president until the signing of a fragile peace agreement between the parties in 2018, described the decision as “unilateral” and a “violation” of the aforementioned pact. Thus, he asked that Teny, who is also his wife, recover his position.
South Sudan has a unity government that came into being after the 2018 agreement materialized. Kiir assured on March 22 that the unity government agreed upon after the 2018 peace agreement is prepared to organize the elections and that “it will not there will be more extensions” of the mandate of this Executive, after several postponements due to problems in the application of various clauses of the pact.
Despite the decrease in violence due to the political conflict, the country has registered an increase in inter-community confrontations, mainly motivated by the theft of cattle and disputes between herders and farmers in the most fertile areas of the country, especially due to the increase in desertification and displacement of populations.