The president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has continued what he terms a cleanup of his cabinet by sacking his Press Secretary Ateny Wek Ateny.
Before the sudden news of his sack, Ateny Wek Ateny had worked with President Kiir as press secretary for nine years.
News of the sacking of the country’s press secretary was communicated in a presidential decree aired on Friday evening. The sack is coming a few days after the president sacked the country’s finance minister and Central Bank governor.
President Kiir did not state the reason for the decision, but cited his constitutional powers, which permit him to appoint and dismiss public servants in the country.
Mr. Ateny was appointed in 2013 as press secretary and served in the office of the president. He is known for many controversial statements in defense of President
Interestingly, before his appointment into the president’s cabinet, Ateny Wek Ateny, a legal practitioner and former journalist, was a big critic of Kiir’s government.
Reacting to the news of his sacking, Mr. Ateny said, “I heard about my removal on television. I was not told the reason I was fired. I am very grateful to the President for giving me an opportunity to serve the country.”
You will recall that Presient Kiir recently sacked some top government functionaries, including ministers and the Army chief, sparking claims that all may not be well in the country’s top hierarchy.
In April 2021, President Salva Kiir sacked the country’s army chief, Johnson Okot. Mr. Okot, who was on official assignment, leading the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) to address an insecurity challenge, was replaced with Santino Deng Wol.
The sack meant that President Kiir had appointed four military chiefs in under five years. The sack was announced in a presidential decree aired on the State-Run South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation. The decree also announced the sacking of the Interior Minister Paul Mayom Akech.
In November last year, the president also sacked the then Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Athian Diing Athian, whom he replaced with Agak Achuil Lual.
As usual, President Kiir did not give any reasons for the dismissals, but always cited his constitutional powers, which allowed him to appoint and remove public servants.
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