Juba calls to allow president to remove ministers of interim cabinet

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South Sudan government Monday said it was facing difficulties with the peace agreement as the President who appoints the ministers of the transitional cabinet does not have the power to dismiss them.

As the political forces are engaging in the revitalization process which aims to review the peace deal of August 2015 and to amend it, the faction of the SPLM-government loyal to President Kiir is now raising matters that it believes problematic, in a way to defend itself against the repeated accusations of obstructing the smooth implementation of the deal.

In statements to Sudan Tribune over the outstanding matters they have raised in Addis Ababa during the first round of the second phase of the revitalization process, Presidential Adviser Tor Deng Mawien pointed to the case of Foreign Minister Deng Alor who represents the SPLM former political detainees fact.

He said Minister Alor instead of defending the government political options and orientation he is still acting as a political opponent.

“You know the government has discovered a very big problem with the 2015 peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS). That agreement does not allow his Excellency the President of the Republic to make changes in the cabinet without the approval of the party which nominated the minister,” said the presidential adviser on decentralization affairs and inter-governmental linkage.

The case in point is the issue of the minister of foreign affairs. This is the guy who goes out to join his group who are calling for the exclusion of the President from any government. They are also calling for placement of the country under the trusteeship of the United Nations, yet he is still part of the same government. He has forgotten that he is the foreign minister in the Transitional Government of National Unity which requires him to promote its activities,” he further stressed.

The presidential adviser was referring to replacement and removal procedures in the ARCSS which provides that “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”.

Mawien expressed hope that the next agreement would give the president powers to make changes in the cabinet without seeking approval from the nominating party, although the party would still make a nomination to the position from which changes have been made or making swapping.

Recently, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth told a local newspaper that the government wants the Minister of Foreign Affairs Deng Alor Kuol to resign on the ground of lobbying secretly for targeted Western sanctions against government officials.

In an interview with Al-Maugif Arabic newspaper, Minister Lueth claimed that Minister Deng Alor has been stepping up his lobbying for sanctions against South Sudan.

“We want him to resign from his position, but he does not want to do so,” Lueth said.

However, the government spokesman admitted that foreign minister cannot be removed from his ministerial position because he was appointed according to the 2015 peace agreement.

In October 2017, a twenty-member group of pro-government supporters have written a petition letter asking President Salva Kiir to remove from office Foreign Minister Deng Alor Kuol, claiming the latter was advancing regime change views.

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