Kiir fires Jonglei’s deputy governor and selects a successor.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan has issued a republic order removing the deputy governor of the country’s restive Jonglei state, after months of protests from party members in the state who accused him of abandoning the SPLM agenda.
Kiir did not provide a reason for dismissing Antipas Nyok in the republic proclamation read out on the state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) on Wednesday evening, but many experts have referred to recent tensions inside Jonglei, where the deputy governor detained prominent party members.
The South Sudanese head of state nominated Jacob Makuei Deng as the new deputy governor of Jonglei state with effect from Wednesday, according to a second republican edict also read out on the state-owned SSBC.
Last July, a group calling itself ‘Top SPLM Representatives’ pushed Kiir to remove Antipas, the Chairman of the SPLM in Jonglei state, as the deputy governor, escalating political infighting among senior members of the ruling SPLM party.
The organization also encouraged President Kiir, who is also the SPLM faction’s Chairman, to remove the deputy governor from his position as SPLM chairman in Jonglei.
“We’ve turned to the media because we’ve run out of options for discourse.” The fact that we are split as a party as elections approach is disturbing to us. So, we’re requesting that the president fire Antipas Nyok,” Gabriel Deng Ajak, the group’s spokesperson, told Radio Tamazuj in July.
“Our chairman Nyok has shown his inability to lead the party. He continues to make threats. He proceeded to divide the party and put an end to its operations. So we’ve filed this petition because we want the president to save the SPLM,” he said.