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South Sudan president appoints new army chief of staff

May 2, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir has appointed General Gabriel Jok Riak as the country’s new army chief of staff.

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General Gabriel Jok Riak (Getty Image)

Riak, according a decree issued on Wednesday, succeeds General James Ajongo Mawut who died last month.

The order of appointment came into effect in a decree Kiir issued on 2 May.

Riak, who hails from South Sudan’s Jonglei state, briefly served as the acting army chief of staff after the position recently became vacant.

A former deputy army chief of staff, Riak also served as sector commander in Bahr el Ghazal region before moving to the general headquarters for top level assignment at command leadership.

In July 2015, the United Nations Security Council imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Riak, among other senior military officers. The move came after the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated for sanctions Riak, who was then commander of Sector One of the South Sudanese military.

The president, despite the sanctions, promoted Riak to the deputy chief of defence forces in December last year.