South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir sacks six opposition ministers


Newly appointed Vice President of South (L) and President pose at the State House in Juba on July 26, 2016. (AFP)

’s President Salva Kiir sacked six opposition ministers Wednesday amid growing tensions in the African country. 
The fired ministers are among the close allies of the president’s long-time rival, Riek Machar.
The ministers were part of the transitional government of national unity, which aims to seek an end to the conflict in South Sudan.
President Kiir has filled the vacant posts of the ministers of the interior, petroleum, higher education, labor, water resources, as well as land and housing with figures linked to a breakaway faction of Machar’s party.

This handout photo provided by the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) and released on July 16, 2016, shows a child crossing through mud as people receive rations of water at the UN compound in the Tomping area in Juba, South Sudan. (AFP)

On Tuesday, Lam Akol Ajawin, the minister of agriculture and food security, resigned after accusing President Kiir of undermining a peace deal by allegedly masterminding a military attack against Machar in the capital Juba.
Ajawin also accused the president of “dislodging him from Juba and invoking his absence to fill his position with a person of his choice.” 
President Kiir recently replaced Machar with a former peace negotiator, General Taban Deng Gai.
Gai, who leads a faction of Machar’s party, was named vice president by Kiir after being fired as a minister by his own party leader.
Machar, a former rebel leader, was sworn in as first vice president in April, eight months after the peace agreement was signed between the government and rebels loyal to him.
However, Machar left Juba with his troops earlier this month after fresh fighting erupted between his loyalists and government forces. Machar said he would only return if an international peacekeeping force guarantees his safety.
Despite the August 2015 peace deal, battles persist across the country. There are numerous militia forces that do not abide by peace agreements and are driven by local agendas.

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