July 19, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy(SSHURSA) condemns in strongest terms possible the recent dismissal of Cirino Hiteng; the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the South Sudan’s coalition government; the Transitional Government of National Unity(TGoNU). Hiteng is member of the Former Political Detainees(FD or SPLM Leaders). He was, without cited reasons unilaterally dismissed from his position on 12 July 2016 by President Salva Kiir, in Presidential Decree read on South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation.
It has been alleged that Minister Hiteng was relieved because he participated in a meeting that resolved for regional military intervention to contain recent South Sudan’s erupted violence. This was a meeting by Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development(IGAD) countries. The unilateral dismissal of Minister Hiteng by President Kiir is a violation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan(the Agreement), which the Parties signed in August 2015. President Kiir or any of the leaders of the parties to the Agreement has no authority to dismiss a nominee of the other party to the Council of Minister or any position under the TGoNU.
Article 10, specifically sub article 10.6 of Chapter I, of the Agreement, provides for the replacement and removal procedures of the representatives of a party to the Council of Ministers. Sub article 10.6.1 of the Agreement states;
each party may remove its representatives in the Council of Ministers and nominate replacements by notifying the President and the First Vice-President within at least 14 days’ notice.
Sub articles 10.6.2 and 10.6.3 of the Agreement, additionally, make it mandatory for the top leadership of the respective party from which a ministerial or deputy-ministerial vacancy has occurred, to nominate the replacement. The President only remains as an appointing authority. There is nowhere in the Agreement that the ‘appointing authority’ being President Kiir having powers to dismiss the nominees of other parties to the Peace Agreement. It is only the nominating party which can recommend to the President for the replacement of its nominee. SSHURSA calls on President Kiir to respect the spirit of the Agreement and immediately reinstates Minister Cirino Hiteng to his position as the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the TGoNU. SSHURSA also calls on FD to give a clear public message if they had prior knowledge of Minister Hiteng’s dismissal. SSHURSA urges all parties to abide by the Agreement as viable alternative to rid South Sudan out of its continued violence.
Signed: Executive Director, SSHURSA