Only one official from the Nuer ethnic group, the second largest single community in South Sudan after the Dinka has been appointed to the new cabinet by President Salva Kiir’s faction.
This was revealed after complaints were circulated on social media by members of the Nuer community who pointed to the argument that the First Vice President, Riek Machar, had done better in allocating his faction’s 10 ministerial portfolios in the newly formed Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).
Out of the 16 ministers which President Kiir appointed, 7 of them are from his ethnic group, the Dinka, plus another Dinka appointed as deputy minister, making their number almost half of the whole quota of the 16 positions in the power sharing deal. Only one Nuer, Riek Gai Kok, is reappointed as minister of health.
In comparison, Machar in dividing his faction’s 10 ministerial posts reportedly appointed three Nuer politicians as national ministers plus one deputy minister.
He appointed two Dinka members as national ministers plus another Dinka as deputy minister. They include Dhieu Mathok Wol, minister of energy and dams and Mabior Garang de Mabior, as minister of water resources and irrigation, while Elizabeth Acuei Yol, a Dinka woman, has been appointed as deputy to the minister of public service and human resource development.
Machar also appointed four Equatorians as national ministers plus one deputy minister. He also appointed one Shilluk as a full minister.
Also none of Nuer women was appointed as national minister or deputy minister among the appointed 6 women ministers and two deputy ministers.
Deng Gatluak, a Nuer by ethnicity, claimed that many Nuer should have been appointed by Machar to the cabinet, including women, arguing that the community borne the brunt of the two year old war.
“I am shocked that only three Nuers were appointed by Dr. Riek Machar from the 10 ministers. Why did Salva Kiir appoint only one Nuer from his 16 ministers?” he wrote in a comment to Sudan Tribune.
Gatluak also criticized that there was no single Nuer lady appointed while there are eight women as ministers and deputies.