Kiir establishes a unified army command.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit released a republic order on Tuesday night establishing the long-awaited unified army command structure, a critical step in moving forward with the security arrangements outlined in the renewed peace accord.
Several decrees were broadcast on SSBC this evening.
Several top SPLM officials have been removed, while several more from the SPLM-IO have been appointed.
Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam of the SPLA-IO has been named Deputy Chief of Defense Forces, succeeding Gen. Thoi Chany.
Kiir also appointed Gen. Koang Gatkuoth as the SSPDF’s Inspector General, Gen. Thoi Chany as the Assistant CDF for Operations, and Gen. James Koang as the Assistant CDF for Training and Research.
Gen. Stephen M. Babanen was named Chief of Military Intelligence, while Gen. Malual Majok was named Assistant CDF for Administration, Personnel, and Finance.
General Wesley Welbe has been named the Assistant CDF for Logistics.
President Kiir has also united the National Police Service’s leadership structure.
Gen. Benjamin John has been named Assistant IGP for Social Welfare, and Gen. James Duop has been named Assistant IGP for Training, among other positions.
Kiir kept Gen. Akol Koor in charge of the National Security Service’s Internal Bureau.
Gen. Yeih Dak has been named Deputy Director-General for Intelligence Operations, while Gen. Louis Natale has been appointed Deputy Director-General for Administration and Finance.
Kiir, who is also the commander in chief of the army, reappointed General Santino Deng Wol of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) as army head in the republican edict readout on the state-owned South Sudan abroad as Corporation (SSBC).
Kiir nominated Lt. Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam of the largest armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) as deputy army head in a separate proclamation read out on the official radio.
The foundation of the united army command comes about two weeks after Kiir and his first deputy, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, head of the major armed opposition SPLM/SPLA (IO), agreed on the formula for allocating unified army command roles and troops.
Machar presented his list of nominations to the president in the middle of last week, and he was followed by Vice President Hussein Abdelbaggi, who represents the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) in the peace presidency.
This measure has long been overdue, and many regard it as a critical step in the execution of the revitalized agreement’s security arrangements clause, which has faced setbacks that threatened to restore the nation to civil war after the breakout of unrest in Juba last month.