South Sudan President appoints new defence minister

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has appointed a new defense minister to replace Angelina Teny, whom he sacked earlier this month.

The appointment of Gen Chol Thon Balok was announced by the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), on Wednesday night.

Gen Thon is from the president’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party. Prior to his appointment, he served as deputy defense minister.

Ms Teny belongs to the party of Vice-President Riek Machar, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO).

The two parties are part of a unity government formed after Mr Kiir and Mr Machar signed a peace agreement to end a brutal six-year civil war.

The deal splits cabinet posts between the parties.

The SPLM-IO says Mr Kiir’s “unilateral” decision to effectively swap the defense and interior portfolios between the parties is a violation of the agreement.

Mr Kiir and Mr Machar met a few weeks later to discuss the dismissal of Ms Teny, but failed to reach a solution.

They promised to meet at a later date but have not done so since then.

The SPLM-IO has not officially commented on the latest appointment

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