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South Sudan’s Kiir appoints Upper Nile Governor, deputy


Gen Johnson Olony (file photo from edge.ug)

January 29, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudanese President on Friday appointed the long-awaited Governor of the Upper Nile State, but the expected move had already been rejected by Johnson Olony, the former nominee for the position.

"I, Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, do hereby issue this Republican Decree for the appointment of Hon. Budhok Ayang kur as the Governor of Upper Nile State with effect from 29th January 2021," reads a decree released by the South Sudanese presidency.

Kur was chosen by Riek Machar the First Vice President and the SPLM-IO leader in line with a power-sharing deal reached last year. He is the last governor to be appointed because President Salva Kiir vetoed the first nominee Johnson Olony.

The presidential decree also appointed James Tor Monybuny as deputy governor for the Upper Nile State.

Machar, on 22 January, had requested Olony to come to Juba to dissipate fears and rebuild confidence with the president otherwise he would be forced to nominate another governor, but the latter declined the invitation.

Last November, President Kiir revealed that he asked his first deputy to write an undertaking letter where he assumes full responsibility should his nominated governor causes troubles in the Upper Nile State after his appointment.

"Dr Riek Machar has not yet brought the letter of undertaking to me. I am still waiting for my First Vice President Dr Riek Machar to give me the handwritten undertaking letter as we have agreed,” Kiir told church leaders.

Since three days ago, Olony r issued a statement where he referred to his telephone discussion with Machar and publicly rejected his replacement by any other candidate.

"After consulting with the political and military leadership, and on the background of your phone call regarding my going to Juba or changing me to another candidate, the political and military leadership refused to replace the candidate Johnson Olony with another candidate," stated Olony.

Edmund Yakani, a civil society activist, called for formation of a fully-fledged Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) in the coming two weeks.

“The vacuum experienced in the last one year and six months has hampered the effective delivery of services and largely contributed to insecurity in the country,” he said.

According to the revitalized peace agreement signed in September 2018, the power-sharing arrangement at state and local government levels are that the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) takes 55%, armed opposition (SPLM-IO) 27%, South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) 10% and the Other Political Parties (OPP) got 8%.


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