President Kiir removes army chief

New SSPDF Chief-Gen. Johnson Juma Okot speaks to the media in Bilpam 2015

The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit has removed the Chief of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) General Gabriel Jok Riak.

The decree relieving the army chief, was read on the national television on Monday evening. It did not mention any reason for his removal. Gen. Jok was appointed in May 2018 after the death of Gen. Ajongo Mawut.

In a separate decree announced on the same day, Kiir appointed Johnson Juma Okot as the new army chief. Gen. Okot was serving as Deputy Chief of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces for Administration and Finance.

Lul Ruai Koang, spokesperson of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces, said it is president’s right to dismiss army chief. He added that new army chief is not too new to this position, because he has worked as assistant to Jok for nearly two years.