January 1, 2017(Nyamilepedia) ——The leader of SPLM/A in Opposition Dr. Riek Machar Teny fired Duer Tut Duer as military Governor of Sobat State in rebel held territories and appointed Maj. Gen. Chuol Lam Puoch as new Governor of Sobat State with effect from 31 December 2016. Duer Tut Duer, who has been accused to have links with First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, was appointed by Machar as military Governor of Federal State of Sobat in February 2015.
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In a move to shake up his diplomacy, Machar relieved Reath Muoch Tang as SPLM/SPLA (IO) Representative to the United States and reappointed him as Deputy Chairperson of National Committee for Culture, Youth and Sports. The leader of SPLM/A in Opposition also relieved Charles Pioneson as SPLM/SPLA-IO representative to Canada and replaced him with Cyril Joseph Garang.
Machar issued another executive order appointing Gatluak Pal Chuol as SPLM/SPLA (IO) Representative to New Zealand with effect from 30 December 2016, Gatluak’s appointment applauded by supporters made rounds over social media.
The motive behind Machar’s shake up of his diplomatic officials is unknown but people who are familiar with SPLM/SPLA-IO activities said there is need for change of movement’s ambassadors due to the loyalty concerns. Dr. Riek Machar is expected to make more diplomatic reshuffling and is also expected to make a few changes among combat generals.
On December 01 2016, SPLM/A-IO leader appointed former South Sudan Minister of Education Stephen Par Kuol as Chairperson of National Committee for Foreign Relations, replacing current South Sudan Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth. Stephen Par was appointed alongside Hon. Henry D. Odwar and Gen. Tingo Peter as Deputy Chairman and Deputy commander-in-chief of SPLM/A (IO) and SPLM(IO) Secretary General respectively.