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President Kiir orders new Defense Minister to disarm civilians

President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Thursday ordered the newly appointed Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs, General Chol Thon Balok to disarm the civil population across the country.

Kiir issued this directive during the swearing in ceremony of General Chol Thon Balok on Wednesday.

 Balok a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement replaces Angelina Teny who was sacked on March 3rd.

Kiir sacked defense minister Angelina Teny, a leading member of the opposition SPLM-IO led by First Vice President Riek Machar.

Gen. Chol Thon Balok served as deputy defense minister before his appointment.

“I am hereby directing you to reorganize the army and disarm the civil population in Juba and other parts of the country,” Kiir said in a statement on his Facebook page.

The President also directed the minister to carry out his duties diligently in order to implement chapter two of the security arrangement.

On his part, the newly appointed defense minister, Gen. Chol Thon Balok reiterated his commitment to implementation of the security arrangement in order to achieve durable peace in the country.

“I will work jointly with the senior members to reorganize the army especially addressing their welfare,” Chol said.

 The appointment of the defense minister came nearly three weeks after a meeting on the defense ministerial dispute between Kiir and Machar ended in deadlock.

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