Juba — South Sudan president, Salva Kiir unexpectedly reversed an earlier order, appointing five ministers and an equal number of deputy ministers in the newly formed government.
Kiir, in an executive order issued Sunday, also split ministries that were previously combined with another, into separate institutions as it were before the entire government was dissolved on 23 July.
The splitting of ministries and subsequent appointments, sources says, was in response complaints raised by women groups, who claimed they were under represented and blamed the government for failing to fulfill 25% affirmative action.
The new cabinet, the state-radio reported, will now comprise of 33 members, including the president, his deputy and minister for the presidency, whose positions are still unoccupied till now.
Abuk Ayite, a legislator in the national assembly commended the president for adhering to the 25% affirmative action allocated to women in the country.
"We are happy and thank the president for responding to our pleas favourably. This was a wise decision and we knew he was going to do so. He is a caring leader and which is why we the women have been supporting him all along," said Ayite, who now chairs the technical committee to vet the newly appointed cabinet members.
"We continue to support him," she stressed.
Thomas Wani, a chair of the parliamentary group for members from the ruling SPLM party said the appointment of more women in the cabinet resulted from a meeting they had with the president on Saturday.
"The house welcomed this development. It is the result of the meeting we had with the president on Saturday. It shows the president keeps his words. He told asked he has heard our reservations and the recommendations we made and that he was going to act on them, which what he has now done. We congratulate him and the women, he told reporters in Juba on Monday.
This is how wise leaders like our president address issues of concern, he added.
Meanwhile, several changes also emerged in the new order, some contrary to the one issued on Wednesday last week.
The president, for instance, reversed the appointment of Simon Mijok Mijak as new minister of transport, roads and bridges, and made him a deputy in the same ministry. He instead moved Kuong Danhier Gatluak, previously for labour, public service and human resource development to the transport ministry.
Also affected was the new minister for youth, culture and sports, Ngor Kolong Ngor, who becomes the new minister of labour, public service and human resource development.
Another new appointee, Nadia Arop Dudi, previously named deputy minister for agriculture and forestry, was elevated to the youth, culture and sports ministry, to be deputised by Josephine Napwon Cosmos.
The ministry of information and broadcasting, which was previously combined with that of telecommunications and postal service, remained on its own with Michael Makueu Lueth as its minister, to be deputised by Rachek Nyadak Paul.
Rebecca Joshua Okwaci, who had earlier been appointed deputy information minister, now becomes the new minister for telecommunications and postal services.
The ministry of environment, initially combined with that of petroleum and mining, now stand as an independent entity, headed by Abdallah Deng Nhial, who was last week appointed as minister for electricity, dams and irrigation. Nhial will be assisted by Matin Tako.
Jemma Nunu Kumba, the powerful lady from Western Equatoria is now the new minister for electricity and dams, having been moved from lands, housing and physical planning. Catherine Juan Bennia takes over the lands ministry, with Deng Arop Kuol as her deputy.