Wau — The governor of South Sudan's border State of Western Bahr el Ghazal has dissolved his entire cabinet following his return from the country's capital Juba where he held consultative meeting with president Salva Kiir Mayardit, according to an executive decree seen by Sudan Tribune.
Governor Rizik Hassan Zachariah also removed his deputy, Moris Yel Akol Tit, with effect from 27 August, but has yet to name a replacement.
Zachariah thanked his deputy for the services he rendered to the people of the state while in office. It remains unclear whether the governor will return his former deputy to the cabinet, appoint a new face or select an outgoing member of the former cabinet.
Akol has not spoken to the media since his removal and attempts by Sudan Tribune to reach him were also unsuccessful. His allies have also declined to speculate on whether he would be part of the new cabinet.
"I cannot say Moris Yel Akol will not come and I cannot say he will come because there is no certainty in politics, so let us wait and see what will come. What I know is that he has no political differences with the governor known to the general population. They appeared to have enjoyed good working relations since his appointment", Ukel Simon, a native of Western Bahr el Ghazal, told Sudan Tribune on Friday at Jur River Lodge in Wau town.
Under the decree, Akol was also removed as minister of physical infrastructure and urban development.
No reason has been cited for Akol's removal and there has been no official public statement issued by the governor or any other relevant office.
The minister of information, minister of local government and law enforcement agencies and the minister of finance were also among those affected by the governor's decree. No immediate replacements were announced to fill their positions.
Hassan cited chapter two of the 2011 state model transitional constitution, which confers powers to the state governor to dissolve the cabinet, including his deputy and advisors, as well as heads of commissions and heads of departments in the state administration.
A gubernatorial aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, indicated that the governor felt he was not sufficiently supported by some members of the cabinet during the 2012 crisis over the transfer of Wau county headquarters to Bagari.
According to the aid, the governor was recently presented with evidence that some cabinet representatives had been pretending to support the governor while secretly working against him.
"You know our politics. Someone can be pretend to be with you during the day and does [the] complete [opposite] thing in the dark. This has happened to the governor during [the] 2012 crisis", he said.
The aide insists the changes also came in response to the central government's recommendation to reduce the size of state cabinet to reflect the current financial situation.
"You can say that this was the drop of water that made the pot overflow", said the aide. "He needs to assemble new team with new spirit and ready to work as one group for the benefit of our people".