South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on Friday reshuffled the general staff of the government army South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and included SPLA-IO splinter military commander.
The newly appointed Chief of Defense Forces, General Johnson Juma Okot, issued an executive order to the SSPDF units saying that the Commander-in-chief President Kiir issued a Republican Order for the reassignment and deployment of SSPDF officers with effect from 12 June.
According to the new change, Gen Chol Thon Balok is appointed Deputy Chief of Defense Forces, Lt. Gen Charles Madut Akol is appointed Inspector General (IG), Lt. Gen Santino Deng Wol Chol is the Administration and Finance.
The former SPLA-IO splinter commander Lt. Gen James Kong Chol will head the Training Command.
The former SPLA-IO Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration, Lt. General James Koang Chuol Ranley joined the SSPDF after criticizing the appointment of Machar’s wife as the defence minister of the national unity government.
The training command is tasked with the tough job of troops unification which was supposed to be accomplished during the pre-transitional but still lagging due to the lack of money.
According to the order, Lt. Gen Thoi Chany Reat has been tasked with the Logistics and Procurement, Gen Peter Dor for the Riverine Force, Gen Rin Tueny Mabor – Chief of Military Intelligence and Lt. Gen Marshal Stephen Bababen for the Military Operations.
While Lt. Gen Malual Majok Chiengkuac Jok will command the Moral Orientation and Chaplainship, Lt. Gen Butruce Bol Bol will command the Ground Force and Maj. Gen Samson Mabior the Air Force.
When the unification process is completed the new army command will be once again reshuffled to include the officers of SPLA-IO and other forces of the signatories of the peace agreement.