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Gabriel Jok Riak new army chief: named by South Sudan president

Gabriel Jok Riak new army chief: named by South Sudan president

According to an announcement read out on State Television army last week, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir chose General Gabriel Jok Riak as the new head of the army.

Riak’s was appointed as the new chief army follows the death of army chief General James Ajongo in Cairo last month due to a short illness.

Riak, from Jonglei State in the Upper Nile region, was the deputy army chief for operations and has been serving as the interim army chief.

“I..do hereby issue this Republican Decree for the appointment of General Gabriel Jok Riak Makol as the chief of the Defense Force of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA),” Kiir’s statement read.

South Sudan, which is the world’s youngest nation had obtained independence from Sudan in 2011 and, has been mired in civil war since 2013, when Kiir fired his deputy.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in fighting often along ethnic lines, and much of the nation has faced terrible food shortages.