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South Sudan president names new cabinet

South Sudan's president Salva Kiir replaces caretaker government and names a team of new ministers

Reuters , Saturday 27 Aug 2011

South Sudan's president replaced the caretaker government that has overseen the country since independence last month and named a team of new ministers including finance, foreign affairs and energy, the government said.

The new line-up better reflects the country's diverse ethnic mix and contains more faces from the country's different regions, local media said on Saturday.

South Sudan broke away from the north on 9 July, 2011 following a January referendum, splitting Africa's biggest country in two.

Africa's newest state is also one of the world's poorest and President Salva Kiir is grappling with a string of border disputes with the north and disagreements with Khartoum over oil revenues, currency and debt.

Some observers criticised Kiir's caretaker cabinet for being dominated by his Dinka community and another, the Nuer. The prevalence of new ministers from other regions, particularly Central Equatoria, seems designed to redress that imbalance. Dinka, Equatoria, Ngai, Nhial

Among the new appointments listed on the government's website on Saturday , Kosti Manibe Ngai replaces David Deng Athorbei as Finance Minister and former Defence Minister Nhial Deng Nhial takes over foreign affairs.

Some 2 million people died in Sudan in a decades-long conflict over religion, ethnicity, ideology and oil, although the secession last month was very peaceful.

South Sudan acccused Khartoum this week of backing a cross-border attack by insurgents that left more than 72 people dead, the most violent incident of its kind since the south gained its independence.

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© 2010 Ahram Online.