JUBA – President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Friday evening issued a republican order firing his longest-serving press secretary Ateny Wek Ateny.
The decree read out on the state-own South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) did not give reason for the appointment and the president cited his powers given to him under the transitional constitution along with the revitalized peace agreement.
Ateny, a former political commentator on The Citizen newspaper, was appointed by Kiir on 27 November 2013 and has held the position since then.
Ateny had been commenting on various political incidents and processes in the country, and had been a staunch critic of the country’s political leaders.
In an opinion column published a month before his appointment, Ateny criticized Kiir’s then press team, saying that they were letting him down by not adequately responding to media allegations involving the president.
The subject of that commentary piece apparently caught the attention of the president leading up to his appointment.
Ateny’s sacking comes a day after the president issued several republican decrees on SSBC dismissing the minister of finance and planning, Agak Achuil, and the governor of the country’s troubled central bank Moses Makur Deng.
Kiir appointed Dier Tong Ngor, a former governor of central bank who was removed amid worsening inflation last year, as the new finance minister.
The president said John Ohisio, a senior bank official, would work on an interim basis in the place of the central bank governor.