South Sudan's Kiir unveils new cabinet

2020-03-13 13:12

President Salva Kiir unveiled a new cabinet Thursday, appointing key ministers to the latest power-sharing government formed with rival-turned-deputy Riek Machar in a bid to bring peace to South Sudan.

A presidential decree naming the 34 ministers and 10 deputies was read out on state television. The announcement followed weeks of negotiations between Kiir and Machar over the make-up of the unity government they announced on 22 February in Juba.

Kiir and Machar, old foes whose fall out in 2013 sparked civil war, reunited in government after intense international pressure to settle their differences and deliver a lasting peace to their young, conflict-torn country.

Among the notable appointees was Machar's wife Angelina Teny, who was named defence minister. She is also the first woman to hold the powerful position.

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The cabinet will be sworn in at a later time.

Kiir and Machar had taken nearly three weeks to agree on key appointments in their coalition, the latest forged between the long-time rivals who have a history of struggling to share power.

It is the third time they have governed together with Kiir as president and Machar as deputy since the country's hard-fought independence from Sudan in 2011.

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Their last two political alliances collapsed into bloodshed, prolonging a conflict that left 380,000 of their countrymen dead, millions displaced and an economy in ruins.

This latest accord followed a fresh peace deal and ceasefire in September 2018, that paused the worst of the fighting and began the slow steps toward a political settlement.

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But it took another 18 months for the pair to agree on the terms of peace, and come together in government.

Other important appointments, including the crucial posts of governors to South Sudan's states, are yet to be announced.

Read more on:    south sudan  |  politics
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