JUBA, South Sudan

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on Saturday sacked his Defense Chief Gen. Johnson Juma Okot and appointed Gen. Santino Deng Wol as the head of the army.

No reason was provided for Okot’s dismissal but a source in the office of the president said the move was part of normal changes by the president.

The sacking of Okot announced by state-owned broadcaster, South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), takes effect immediately.

The new chief is not new to the military. He has been serving as Assistant Chief of Defense for administration and finance.

Wol was first promoted from lieutenant-general to general before his new post.

Kiir also issued a series of decrees dismissing and appointing senior officials in his office and the national security sector.

He dismissed Minister of Presidential Affairs Nhial Deng Nhial and appointed Dr. Barnaba Marial as his replacement.

The president also assigned former army chief Johnson Juma as grade one ambassador to Belgium. He relieved Deputy Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs Gen. Malek Reuben Riak and assigned him to Eritrea as grade one ambassador.

Gen. Chol Thon Balok was appointed new Deputy Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Gen. Thomas Duoth was relieved from his position as Director-General of the General Intelligence Bureau, National Security Service, and replaced by Maj. Gen. Simon Yien Makuac. Duoth was reassigned to Kuwait as a grade one ambassador.

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