Juba, 12 June 2019: South Sudan president Salva Kiir on Wednesday sacks his oil and petroleum Minister, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth who is a strong ally of First vice President Taban Deng Gai.
There is no apparent reason given by the Presidential decree, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth has been on the job since 2018 after his former boss Dr. Riek was forced to flee the country's capital Juba on foot from Kiir's forces after intense three days fighting between Kiir and Machar’s forces in J1 and other parts of military installations in Juba.
Meanwhile, in another decree, President Kiir appointed the Director-General in the ministry of petroleum Mr. Awow Daniel Chuang as a replacement of Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.
On Wednesday, the presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Reuters that the removal of Ezekiel Lol, is a routine duty of the President, when pressed to give details of the sacking of petroleum minister, Ateny declined to divulge further details.
“It is the routine duty of the president to sack or appoint government officials,” Ateny said when asked the reason for the move. He declined to give further details
The ministry is one of the most powerful in the country. South Sudan gets almost all of its revenues from oil and has been boosting production as it struggles to rebuild its shattered economy from the wreckage of a five-year civil war.
In the recent weeks, Ezekiel Lol has signed several agreements with foreign oil companies including South African state-run oil company, Chinese and others.
J. Roberts Swaka