March 28, 14 (BOR) – The caretaker governor for South Sudan’s Jonglei state, Lt. Gen. John Kong Nyuon has appointed former youth, sports and heritage minister Baba Medan Koyi as his new deputy.
Koyi was appointed to his ministerial role last year by former governor Kuol Manyang Juuk, and represented Pibor county as a member of parliament.
Koyi was removed from his ministerial position in a decree issued on Thursday before being appointed as deputy governor in a separate decree announced publicly on Friday.
Speaking to Sudan Tribune on phone from his home in Bor, Koyi expressed his happiness at his new political position.
“I am happy when my people are happy. A leader can feel happy when he is supported by his people,” he said.
Koyi was among the first ministers to return to Bor earlier in January when Nyuon took over as governor.
The details of when he will be sworn into office remain unclear.
There is public speculation that the cabinet reshuffle and appointment of new faces will fail to fill the gap left behind by defected ministers who joined South Sudan’s armed rebellion led by former vice-president Riek Machar.
Among the key figures to defect from Jonglei’s cabinet were former deputy governor Hussein Maar Nyuot, former minister of law enforcement Gabriel Duop Lam, former minister of education Stephen Par Kuol and the former minister of physical infrastructure Manawe Peter Gatkuoth.
Meanwhile, the governor also released a separate decree on Friday removing five county commissioners of their positions.
Under the decree James Mawich of Ayod, Simon Hoth Duol of Uror, Kong Rambang of Akobo, Joseph Okello of Pochalla and Wany Juet of Nyirol were relieved from their posts.
Omot Acheu Awan has been announced as Okello’s successor in Pochalla, however, there are no further details available on when other replacements would be appointed in the remaining four rebel-controlled counties.
Jonglei was the scene of fierce fighting following the eruption of violence in the capital, Juba, in mid-December, changing hands several times between pro-Machar rebels and forces loyal to president Salva Kiir