South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Dismisses Finance Minister After Four Months In Office

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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has dismissed Finance Minister Awow Daniel Chuong, who had been in the position for just four months, according to a report by state-owned television on Wednesday. This marks the sixth time the finance minister has been replaced since 2020. No reasons were provided for Chuong’s dismissal.

Economist Marial Deng has been appointed as the new finance minister. Deng steps into a role fraught with challenges as South Sudan grapples with a beleaguered economy that is worsened by communal violence, dwindling crude oil revenues, and disruptions in exports due to ongoing conflict in neighboring Sudan. The civil war from 2013 to 2018 significantly impaired the nation’s oil production, which is a critical source of income.

In May, Central Bank Governor James Alic Garang revealed that South Sudan’s foreign exchange reserves were at historic lows. The economic pressure is further illustrated by the International Monetary Fund’s projection of consumer price inflation soaring to 54.8% this year.

President Kiir, who became the first leader of South Sudan following its independence from Sudan in 2011, is facing increased scrutiny as the country approaches its presidential, parliamentary, and regional elections slated for December. The frequent changes in the finance ministry highlight the ongoing challenges in stabilising the nation’s economy and managing its fiscal policies amid persistent internal and external pressures.

Melissa Enoch

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