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FRAGILE: Salva Kiir, ex-SPLM Detainees Disagreement over Sacked Minister Threatens Peace, Unity Govt

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A row between a faction loyal to President Salva Kiir and former former SPLM detainees over sacked foreign affair ministers has exacerbated, leaving peace and unity in the world’s youngest nation hanging on a thread.

Some 11 months since the sacking of Cirino Hiteng in July last after he allegedly attended an IGAD Council of Ministers meeting without being President Kiir’s permission, the two factions have failed to agree on a replacement.

Under the 2015 Peace deal, the foreign affairs minister is supposed to be a member of the ex-SPLM detainees’ faction.

The president has no powers to dismiss a minister appointed by this faction.

“Deputy Ministers shall be appointed by the Party holding the respective Ministry,” reads Chapter 1, Article 10.5.4 of the peace deal.

Article 10.6.1 adds: “Each party may remove its representatives in the Council of Ministers and nominate replacements by notifying the President and the First Vice President, with at least fourteen (14) days notice.”

Now a blame game has started with the foreign affairs ministry spokesman Mawien Makol blaming the ex-detainees for failing to nominate Hiteng’s replacement.

But the SPLM Former Detainees group spokesman Kosti Manibe Ngai has hit back at Makol’s claiming saying that Kiir had no reason and authority to sack Hiteng.

“The reasons that were alleged to have been the reasons for his removal did not convince us at all, so it was a unilateral decision taken by the president and we have not accepted it and we are not going along with it,” Ngai said.

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