President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan has issued a series of decrees, resulting in the dismissal of three national ministers and one state governor.
This extensive restructuring comes as the country gears up for its inaugural elections since gaining independence in 2011.
During a broadcast on the state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), Kiir announced the removal of Barnaba Marial Benjamin from the position of minister of presidential affairs, appointing Joseph Bangasi Bakasoro as his successor.
Bakasoro, formerly the minister of public service, was succeeded in that role by Dak Duop Bichiok, a former senior SPLM-IO official and briefly the minister of petroleum in 2016.
Additionally, Kiir replaced the minister of trade and industry, Kuol Athian Kuol, with William Anyuon.
In a separate action, the president dismissed Warrap State Governor Manhiem Bol Malek and appointed Kuol Muor Muor as his replacement.
The cabinet reshuffle, which occurred without official explanations, occurred within two weeks of the president’s removal of the country’s police chief due to an alleged coup attempt resulting in the detention of at least 27 armed forces members.
Additionally, the reshuffle involved the ousting of the Minister of Youth and Sports, Albino Bol Dhieu.
This decision followed years of conflict between Dhieu and the leader of the South Sudan National Youth Union (SSNYU), Gola Boyoi Gola.
South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 but soon faced a deadly tribal conflict led by President Kiir and opposition leader, now the first vice president, Riek Machar.
The war concluded with a peace agreement in September 2018, and elections are anticipated to occur for the first time since independence in December 2024.