June 12, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir Wednesday unexpectedly relieved his Oil Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth who served for nearly three years in this position.
Gatkuoth was appointed as oil minister on 2 August 2016; following the defection from the SPLM-IO of a faction led by First Vice President Taban Deng who joined the government of President Salva Kiir.
Government officials declined to comment on the sack of the former oil minister but some others hinted that he was appointed under the proposition of the leader of his party.
In another separate decree, the South Sudanese leader appointed Awow Daniel Chuang, who was the director general at the petroleum ministry, as the new minister.
It has been admitted that Gatkuoth worked hard to increase oil production as it is the only source of revenue to the country.
However, he was seen as an ambitious politician, seeking to promote people from his clan in the party’s sections particularly in Latjor State.
last February, South Sudanese Water Resources and Irrigation Sophia Pal Gai accused Gatkuoth of interfering in the activities of her ministry and supplying water facilities to in various areas of Juba, Northern Liech and Ruweng states without coordination with her ministry.
Nonetheless, the former minister at the time refuted the accusations.
Also, on Wednesday, Kiir also relieved Jonglei government Philip Aguer the former SPLA spokesperson.