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Kiir Appoints New Chief of Defense Forces

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has appointed Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak as the country’s new Chief of Defence Forces (CDF)

Kiir announced Riak’s appointment in a decree issued on Wednesday May 2nd.

Riak will replace Gen. James Ajongo Mawut who died after a kidney operation in Egypt last month.

Riak, who hails from South Sudan’s Jonglei state, briefly served as the acting army chief of staff after the position recently became vacant.

A former deputy army chief of staff, Riak also served as sector commander in Bahr el Ghazal region before moving to the general headquarters for top level assignment at command leadership.

In July 2015, the United Nations Security Council imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Riak, among other senior military officers. The move came after the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated for sanctions Riak, who was then commander of Sector One of the South Sudanese military.

The president, despite the sanctions, promoted Riak to the deputy chief of defence forces in December last year.

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