Kiir fires army Chief Gabriel Jok in a presidential decree

Former Chief of Defense Forces Gabriel Jok Riak/ Photo:File

May 12, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has made a partial reshuffle in the army’s leadership, firing Chief of Defense Forces Gabriel Jok Riak in a presidential decree read out on the state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC)

The former head of the SSPDF Forces, Gabriel Jok was appointed in 2018 shortly after the passing on of General James Ajongo Mawut in the Egyptian capital, Cairo as a result of an illness.

The presidential order did not elaborate on the details and circumstances that led to the change in the army’s leadership.

In the same presidential order, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, who’s also the Commander-In-Chief of the country’s national army, appointed General Johnson Juma Okot as the new army chief.

General Johnson hails from the Equatoria region, and this is the first time a senior commander has been appointed from that region.

Speaking to the media following the dismal of the top military commander, Lul Ruai Kong, the military spokesperson remarked that the recent changes in the SSPDF’s military command are routine have nothing to do with other issues.

“The new Chief of Defense Forces is not new to the military. He [Okot] has been serving for nearly two years as Jok’s deputy. General Okot has just succeeded his boss, so he is not someone being brought from nowhere,” said Lul.

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