March 14, 2023 (JUBA) – President Salva Kiir has no right to replace or appoint a minister from another party without consultation or being notified by the concerned party’s leader, the armed opposition (SPLM-IO) said.
The group was on Tuesday reacting to a statement in which the Information minister, Michael Makuei was quoted to have said President Kiir had the right to remove the Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs, Angelina Teny.
Makuei said that even First Vice President was appointed by the president.
The Office of the First Vice President, however, insisted the resident only makes formality to appoint a nominee given to him by concerned parties.
“The feet dragging in the implementation of the Transitional Security Arrangements should not be blamed on Hon. Angelina Teny. The fact is had it not been for Hon. Angelina’s commitment and consistent efforts, the first batch of the Necessary Unified Forces would not have been graduated. Indeed, she was instrumental in the process,” the Acting Press Secretary in the Office of the First Vice President, Goanar Gordon Yien stated.
Machar’s office further responded to a another comment attributed to the Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia Lomuro in relation to the Unilateral Decree and the Republican Order issued by President Kiir on March 3, 2023.
“The cabinet minister may have not consulted the Revitalized Peace Agreement correctly by saying an “official notification letter was given,” the said Yien.
The minister had argued that Kiir sacked the Defense and Veterans Affairs minister so that he is able to give orders that cannot be rejected by anybody below his power as commander in chief of the forces.
The SPLM-IO however, said the former Defense and Veterans Affairs minister should instead be acknowledged for reforming the army and pushing for the implementation of the security arrangements.
“What had happened was absolutely serious incident of violation of the peace agreement and equally a violation in the swapping of the two ministries,” the statement further stressed.
In September 2018, Kiir and Machar’s forces signed a peace agreement that ended five years of civil war that killed 400,000 people and displaced millions.
Since then, implementation of the peace deal has been slow and the rival forces have clashed frequently over disagreements about how to share power.