JUBA – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has dismissed the Minister of Youth & Sports Albino Bol Dhieu from his position.
The decision was announced on Friday evening via a decree read on state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) without providing any specific reasons for the removal.
In a separate decree, President Kiir appointed Dr. Joseph Geng Akech as the new Youth and Sports Minister, replacing Dhieu. Akech holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Pretoria in South Africa but has no prior political experience.
Dhieu, a member of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) faction led by Kiir, was appointed to the ministerial position in March 2020 when the president formed the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) as stipulated in the revitalized peace agreement.
Dhieu holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Juba, graduating in 2014. He served as the first elected president of the South Sudan National Youth Union (SSNYU) from 2014 to 2019, a year before his appointment to the ministerial portfolio he held until this evening.
His removal comes amidst disagreements within the SSNYU, where the youth group’s leader, Gola Boyoi Gola, accused him last week of interfering in the body’s affairs and undermining its elections.
President Kiir’s decision to remove Dhieu and appoint Akech follows a series of recent changes in the leadership of police force.
Days earlier, he dismissed the country’s police chief, Majak Akec, after rumors of a coup plot had circulated for several days.
Additionally, just one day before the announcement regarding the youth and sports minister, President Kiir appointed Aduot Ajang as the new head of the customs service. This position has been vacant since last year.
The reasons behind President Kiir’s recent cabinet reshuffles remain unclear, but these changes have raised questions about the stability of the government and its commitment to addressing long-standing challenges facing South Sudan.