South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir has made a reshuffle in the top command of the army and named a former top SPLA-IO commander, Lt. Gen. James Koang Chuol, as Assistant Chief of Defense Forces for Training, according to Radio Tamazuj.
In March, a number of senior commanders of Machar’s SPLA-IO defected to President Salva Kiir in Juba, including Lt. Gen. James Koang, who was the SPLA-IO’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Finance and Administration.
According to a statement issued by the Chief of Defense Forces, General Johnson Juma Okot, President Kiir has issued a decree for the re-assignment and deployment of military officers with immediate effect.
The statement said Kiir also appointed Lt. Gen. Chol Thon Balok, a former governor of the now defunct Central Upper Nile State, as the new Deputy Chief of Defense Forces.
The South Sudanese leader in his capacity as the commander in chief of the army also appointed Lt. Gen. Charles Madut Chol as the new Inspector General. He reappointed Lt. Gen. Santino Deng Wol as Assistant Chief of Defense Forces for Administration and Finance.
Kiir also reappointed Lt. Gen. Thoi Chany as the head of the Logistics and Procurement, and Lt. Gen. Peter Dor as the Commander of Riverine Force. He also reconfirmed Lt. Gen. Rin Tueny Mabor as the Head of Military Intelligence.
The president appointed Marshal Stephen Bababen as the Military Operations Commander, and Lt. Gen. Malual Majok Chiengkuac as the Head of the Military Moral Orientation and Chaplainship.
Kiir also assigned Lt. Gen. Butruce Bol Bol as the Commander of the Ground Forces, and Maj. Gen. Samson Mabior as Air Force Commander.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Friday, SSPDF Spokesman Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang confirmed the reshuffle in the top command of the army. “The presidential decree came as a result of recommendations by the newly appointed Chief of Defense Forces,” he explained.