UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
SUDAN: Kiir names southern cabinet
NAIROBI, 24 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - The president of the new government of southern Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, announced on Sunday the formation of the first autonomous southern cabinet since the 9 January signing of a peace agreement between the northern government and the southern Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).
The newly appointed ministers were expected to be sworn in on Monday before Mayardit in the southern town of Juba, Samson Kwaje, the new minister for information, radio and television, told IRIN.
The new cabinet consists of 20 ministers and seven advisers while another two portfolios - army affairs and rural cooperation and development - are still to be filled pending further consultations, south Sudan's official Radio Juba reported on Sunday.
The new cabinet includes the vice-president of the southern government, Riek Machar, who will become the minister for housing and lands; SPLM/A official Nhial Deng Nhial, who was named minister for regional cooperation; and Daniel Awet Akol, who will lead the Ministry of Interior.
Rebecca de Mabior was given the post of minister of roads and transportation. She is the widow of John Garang, the SPLM/A chairman and former first vice-president of Sudan who died in a helicopter crash on 30 July.
Senior SPLM/A member Pagan Amum was appointed diplomatic affairs adviser to the president of the southern government.
According to the January peace agreement, 70 percent of the representatives of the southern government are from the SPLM/A, 15 percent from the northern ruling National Democratic Party of President Umar al-Bashir and 15 percent from other southern parties.
The peace deal provides for a six-year period of interim rule headed by a national unity government, which was established on 22 September in Khartoum, and will remain in place until elections are organised in three to four years.
The peace accord, which ended a 21-year war that claimed two million lives, also provided for an autonomous south with its own army, government and constitution during the six-year interim period.
After the interim period, which began on 9 July, the south will hold a referendum to decide whether to remain part of a united Sudan or secede.
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