South Sudan's Kiir Appoints Speaker As Deputy After Cabinet Overhaul


JUBA: South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has appointed parliamentary speaker James Wani Igga as his deputy, state media said on Friday, as he seeks to consolidate power in the oil producer after sacking his entire cabinet.

Stability in South Sudan is vital for crude oil producers from Malaysia (Petronas) China and India  operating in the country and for east African neighbours EthiopiaKenya and Uganda which were swamped with refugees during the civil war

Kiir is facing dissent from inside his party and criticism from Western donors for failing to deliver on a "peace" dividend to rescue the economy and develop the country, which seceded from Sudan in 2011 after decades of civil war.

Kiir dismissed all his ministers, including his deputy Riek Machar, a month ago, and suspended Pagan Amum, his top Sudan negotiator, before putting him under investigation for alleged disloyalty.

A week later, he appointed a new team, leaving the key oil minister in place, but delayed naming a vice president until he had reached a consensus among senior party leaders.

State radio reported Kiir had named Igga - a close ally and a senior member in the ruling SudanPeople's Liberation Movement (SPLM) - to the job.

"The president has found a good man and good work mate," Joseph Ngere Paciko, a lawmaker for the SPLM, told Reuters.

Machar said last month he would challenge Kiir for the SPLM chairmanship, a contest that analysts fear might threaten the consensus among rival tribes and former civil war militias that holds the vast country together.

Much of South Sudan's economic crisis has stemmed from disputes with Khartoum that have prevented it exporting crude oil, as well endemic corruption.

Stability in South Sudan is vital for crude oil producers from ChinaIndia and Malaysia operating in the country and for east African neighbours EthiopiaKenya and Uganda which were swamped with refugees during the civil war.- Reuters

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