South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir has appointed a new defence minister to replace Angelina Teny, whom he relieved of his appointment earlier this month.
Report says the appointment of Gen Chol Thon Balok was announced in a presidential decree.
Meanwhile, Gen Thon is from the president’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, SPLM party. Prior to his appointment, he served as deputy defence minister.
While Ms. Teny belongs to the party of Vice-President Riek Machar, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition, SPLM-IO.
However, 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 defence 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.
The SPLM-IO has not officially commented on the latest appointment.
Machar’s spokesperson Puok Both Baluang called for Teny to be reinstated saying that Chol Thon’s appointment as the defense minister was “unilateral and a new blatant violation of the peace agreement.”.