Salva Kiir Fires Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister
South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, has dismissed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation after the minister attended regional body meeting that resolved to send extra troops to South Sudan in aftermath of renewed conflict last week.
Cirino Hiteng was fired in a presidential decree read on state-owned TV, the South Sudan Broadcasting Cooperation ((SSBC), on Tuesday.
The presidential order did not give any reason for relieving Hiteng who rejoined cabinet in April in the transitional government of national unity in accordance with the peace agreement that ended 21 months of conflict.
The relieved minister was appointed on Former Detainees (FDs) ticket as part of three men ministers for their party. The other position held by FDs is Hiteng’s boss, Foreign Affiars Minister, Deng Alor Kuol and Transport Minister, John Luk Jok.
The decision to dismiss Hiteng by President Kiir has not been publicly condemned by FDs leadership but their supporters have criticized the move as violation of the peace agreement. President Kiir has no power to dismiss a minister who does not belong to his party unless recommended to him by the leadership of that particular party.
Hiteng represented South Sudan in Nairobi on Monday during an extraordinary meeting of the ministers of IGAD countries. The gathering discussed the latest eruption of conflict in South Sudan.
The regional body, which brokered the peace agreement between the government of President Kiir and First Vice President, Riek Machar, issued a communique that threatened military intervention in the new nation.
President Kiir has reacted against the proposal, saying he did not want to see in his country’s soil even a “single” foreign soldier besides the current United Nations peace keepers.
However, thousands of Ugandan foreign troops were seen on Thursday crossing into South Sudan and matching towards its capital, Juba.