December 4, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan president, Salva Kiir issued an executive order on Thursday removing Edward Lino, from co-chairing the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC).
In the decree, Kiir appointed Deng Mading as the new AJOC co-chair, deputised by Nyakuch Chol.
According to the state-owned SSTV, the new committee members will be under the direct supervision of the minister at the presidency.
The decree did not, however, provide any explanation for the changes and it was unclear if Lino had demanded to be relieved from office.
Analysts say the former AJOC co-chairperson may have been sacked from his position after he allied with senior members of the country’s ruling party (SPLM) who questioned the credibility of government’s version of events that culminated into the current war.
Senior politicians and top army officer allied to former vice-president, Riek Machar openly demanded democratic reforms within the SPLM.
Lino was appointed the AJOC co-chair in March 2012, replacing Luka Biong, who had then secured a fellowship to Harvard University.
Since May 2011, Abyei has been devoid of a functional administration after Sudanese forces took control of the area, displacing nearly 105,000 people. Some 4,000 Ethiopian-backed United Nations peacekeeping forces, tasked with ensuring the security of Abyei, have now been deployed in the area.