South Sudan Africa News Liberty



Gen. Riak Jok chief of staff of SSPDF fired, Johnson Juma Okot appointed new army chief by Kiir

Juba, 11 May 2020: In an abrupt decree, President Kiir shocked the nation by sacking his army chief of staff, Lt General Gabriel Riak Jok. 

In the same decree, President Kiir appointed Lt General Johnson Juma Okot aka JJ Okot to replace the sacked South Sudan People's Defense Force/ SSPDF Gabriel Riak Jok. 

There was no apparent reason given for the removal of General Jok 

General  Jok has been in the helmet exactly two years, he was appointed on 1 May 2018, after his predecessor General James Ajong has succumbed to unknown illness from Egyptian capital Cairo in 2018. 

President Kiir has also issued Presidential decree removing Lt General James Gai Joac, Lt Gen James Kong Kong, Lt Gen Wang Chiok Koryom, the above generals become inactive according to the decree meaning they are no longer serving the forces. 

Meanwhile, President Kiir in his Presidential decree promotes Major General Botrous Bol Bol, Maj Gen Marshal Stephen, and Maj Gen Malual Majok respectively to the ranks of Lt Generals. 

Though there was no apparent reason given for the removal of Chief of Defense forces, Gen Gabrial Riak Jok, analysts are quick to think the appointment of General Johnson Juma Okot has to do with the threat and insurgency in his region the greater Equatoria. 

James Anthony Drake, a political scientist said Kiir may now want to shift the battleground to Equatoria because he thinks the war with Nuer is now paralyzed, " Kiir sees Nuer no long as a threat to his existence, the focus now is the boiling and popular demand by the people of Equatoria for the cows to be driven out of Equatorian land" said James Anthony Drake. 

According to Mr. Drake. Kiir also wants to use General Okot to flash out Equatorian SPLA-IO forces based in Equatoria Equatoria particularly in Pageri Madi Corridor to enable Dinka cows some of which can be for President to graze freely without hindrance. 

" But above all, General Thomas Cirilo forces could be seen by Kiir and his associates as an immediate threat to Dinka new expansion in Equatoria, so Kiir thought it would wish now to use Equatorian, son, to fight his own" Said Mr. Drake. 


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