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You are here: Opinion Analyses Analysis of the First/New Cabinet of the Republic of South Sudan

Analysis of the First/New Cabinet of the Republic of South Sudan

By PaanLuel Wel, Washington DC, USA

August 29, 2011 (SSNA) -- The first cabinet of the new Republic of South Sudan is finally out, with 29 national ministers and 27 deputies or assistant ministers, making a total of 56-cabinet members besides the President and his deputy.

The main interesting aspect of this cabinet is the fair distribution of core ministries that were once allegedly preserved exclusively for the Dinka Community. These so called Dinka Ministries are now dispersed as follow: Defense (Nuer), Finance and Economics (Equatoria), Interior (Equatoria), National Intelligence (Shilluk), Justice (Nuer) and only Foreign Affairs has remained with the Dinka. President Salva Kiir should be commended for this feat!!

Of the 31 old ministers and the 29 new cabinet members, 11 have been recycled, 8 retained in their old ministries, 3 demoted, 9 dropped altogether from their ministerial portfolios while 9 are either new faces or those salvaged from the Government of National Unity of the CPA-era.

Among those who have been retained in their old ministries are John Luke Jok (Justice); Michael Makwei Lueth (Parliamentary Affairs); Ms Awut Deng (Labor); Jemma Nunu (Housing); Dr. Marial Benjamin (Information); Paul Mayom Akec (Water & Irrigation); Ms Agnes Lasuba (Gender); and Madut Biar Yel (Telecommunication & Postal Services).

Of those recycled or transferred to different ministries are Nhial Deng Nhial, Deng Alor Kuol, Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak, Kosti Manibe, Garang Diing Akuong, Dr. Michael Milly, Gier Chuang Aluong, Stephen Dhieu Dau, Dr. Cirino Hiteng Ofuho, Ustaz Joseph Ukel Abango and David Deng Athorbei.

The three unlucky ministers demoted from their full ministerial or higher positions into deputies or lower ranks are Dr. Majak Agoot (South Sudan National Security); Mary Jarvis Yak (Human Resource Development) and Dr. Priscilla Nyanyang (Minister without Portfolio).

Those unfortunate ministers dropped from their full cabinet positions into the dustbin of GoSS are Pagan Amum (Peace and CPA Implementation); Dr. Luka Monoja (Health); Dr. Ann Itto (Agriculture); Anthony Makana (Roads and Transport); Isaac Awan Maper (Environment); James Kok (Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management); Abdallah Albert (Wildlife Conservation and Tourism); Nyaluk Gatluak (Animal Resources and Fisheries); and Makuac Teny Youk (Youth, Sports and Recreation).

For some like Pagan Amum and Dr. Anne Itto, though, the sun has not yet set on them since they are going back to their respective positions at the prestigious SPLM secretariats and they may never be far from the center of power or the ears of the Big Man. Calling the shot, they still will!

Among the new interesting faces in this new cabinet are John Kong Nyuon, Gen. Alison Magaya, Dr. Betty Achan, Dr. Adwok Nyaba, Afred Lado, Agnes Poni, Emmanuel Lowila and Atem Yaak Atem (Man far away from war) among others.

Below is the detailed summary of the analysis of the new cabinet of the Republic of South Sudan:

(a) List of National Ministers

s/n

National Ministries

National Ministers

Region from

State from

Previous ministry

Party from

1

Ministry of Cabinet Affairs

Mr. Deng Alor Kuol

Bahr el Ghazal

Abyei/Warrap

Foreign Affairs

SPLM

2

Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs

Gen. John Kong Nyuon

Upper Nile

Jonglei

New Face

SPLM

3

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Mr. Nhial Deng Nhial

Bahr el Ghazal

Warrap

Defence

SPLM

4

Minister, Office of the President

Mr. Emmanuel Lowilla

Equatoria

Central Equatoria

New face

SPLM

5

Minister for National Security, Office of the President

Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak

Upper Nile

Upper Nile

Investment

SPLM

6

Ministry of Justice

Mr. John Luke Jok

Upper Nile

Jonglei

Justice

SPLM

7

Ministry of Interior

Gen. Alison Manani Magaya

Equatoria

Western Equatoria

New Face/GoNU

NCP

8

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

Mr. Michael Makwei Lueth

Upper Nile

Jonglei

Parliamentary Affairs

SPLM

9

Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning

Kosti Manibe Ngai

Equatoria

Western Equatoria

Cabinet Affairs

SPLM

10

Ministry of Labor, Public Service and Human Resource Development

Ms. Awut Deng Acuil

Bahr el Ghazal

Warrap

Labour and Public Service

SPLM

11

Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment

Mr. Garang Diing Akuong

Bahr el Ghazal

Northern Bahr Ghazal

Energy and Mining

SPLM

12

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin

Upper Nile

Jonglei

Information

SPLM

13

Ministry of Health

Dr. Michael Milly Hussein

Bahr el Ghazal

Western Bahr el Ghazal

General Education

SPLM

14

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Dr. Betty Achan Ogwaro

Equatoria

Eastern Equatoria

New Face

SPLM

15

Ministry of Roads and Bridges

Mr. Gier Chuang Aluong

Upper Nile

Jonglei

Interior

SPLM

16

Ministry of Transport

Ms. Agnes Poni Lokudu

Equatoria

Central Equatoria

New Face

SPLM

17

Ministry of General Education and Instruction

Ustaz Joseph Ukel Abango

Bahr el Ghazal

Western Bahr el Ghazal

Higher Education, Science and Technology

USAP

18

Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology

Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba

Upper Nile

Upper Nile

New Face/GoNU

SPLM

19

Ministry of Environment

Mr. Alfred Lado Gore

Equatoria

Central Equatoria

New Face/Presidential Advisor

SPLM

20

Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning

Ms. Jemma Nunu Kumba

Equatoria

Western Equatoria

Housing and Physical Planning

SPLM

21

Ministry of Telecommunication and Postal Services

Mr.Madut Biar Yel

Bahr el Ghazal

Northern Bahr el Ghazal

Communication and Postal Services

SPLM

22

Ministry of Petroleum and Mining

Mr. Stephen Dhieu Dau

Upper Nile

Upper Nile

Commerce and Industry

SPLM

23

Ministry of Electricity and Dams

Mr. David Deng Athorbei

Bahr el Ghazal

Lakes

Finance and Economic Planning

SPLM

24

Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare

Ms. Agnes Kwaje Lasuba

Equatoria

Central Equatoria

Gender, Child and Social Welfare

NCP

25

Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management

Mr. Joseph Lual Acuil

Bahr el Ghazal

Warrap

New Face

SPLM

26

Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation

Mr. Paul Mayom Akec

Bahr el Ghazal

Lakes

Irrigation and Water Resources

SPLM

27

Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism

Mr. Gabriel Changson

Upper Nile

Upper Nile

Culture and Heritage

UDSF-M

28

Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries

Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro

Equatoria

Central Equatoria

New Face

Democratic Forum

29

Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports

Dr. Cirino Hiteng Ofuho

Equatoria

Eastern Equatoria

Office of the President

SPLM

(b) List of Deputy Ministers

s/n

D/National Ministries

D/National Ministers

Region from

state from

Previous ministry

Party from

1

Cabinet Affairs

Mr. Wek Mamer Kuol

Bahr el Ghazal

Warrap

none

SPLM

2

Defense and Veteran Affairs

Dr. Majak Agot Atem

Upper Nile

Jonglei

Head of South Sudan National Security

SPLM

3

Foreign Affairs

Ms. Grace Daterio

Equatoria

Western Equatoria

none

SPLM

4

International Cooperation

Prof. Elias Nyamlel Wako

Bahr el Ghazal

Western Bahr el Ghazal

none

SPLM

5

Justice

Mr. Paulino Wanawila Onango

Equatoria

Central Equatoria

none

SPLM

6

Interior

Mr. Salva Mathok Gengdit

Bahr el Ghazal

Warrap

Presidential advisor

SPLM

7

Finance

Mr. Marial Awou

Bahr el Ghazal

Lakes

none

 

8

Finance

Ms. Mary Jervas Yak

Bahr el Ghazal

Western Bahr el Ghazal

Human Resource Developmen

SPLM

9

Labor, Public Service and Human Resource Development

Mr. Kwong Danhier Gatluak

Upper Nile

Unity

none

SPLM

10

Commerce, Industry and Investment

Mr. Kengen Jakor

Upper Nile

Jonglei

none

SPLM

11

Information and Broadcasting

Mr. Atem Yak Atem

Upper Nile

Jonglei

none

SPLM

12

Health

Dr. Yatta Loli Lugar

Equatoria

Central Equatoria

none

SPLM

13

Agriculture and Forestry

Mr. Beda Machar Deng

Bahr el Ghazal

Warrap

none

SPLM

14

Roads and Bridges

Mr. Simon Majok Majak

Upper Nile

Unity

none

SPLM

15

Transport

Mr. Mayom Kuoc Malek

Bahr el Ghazal

Warrap

none

Democratic Forum

16

General Education and Instruction

Ms. Rebecca Joshua Okwaci

Upper Nile

Upper Nile

none

SPLM

17

Higher Education, Science and Technology

Ustaz Gabriel Kuc Abyei

Bahr el Ghazal

Abyei/Warrap

none

ANC

18

Environment

Mr. Philip Palet Gadin

Upper Nile

Jonglei

none

SANU

19

Housing and Physical Planning

Ms. Mary Nyawulang

Upper Nile

Jonglei

none

SPLM

20

Telecommunication and Postal Services

Ms. Bettrice Khamisa Wani

Equatoria

Central Equatoria

none

SPLM

21

Petroleum and Mining

Ms. Elizabeth James Buth

Upper Nile

Upper Nile

none

UDSF-M

22

Electricity and Dams

Ms. Rhoda David Alak

Bahr el Ghazal

Warrap

none

USAP

23

Gender, Child and Social Welfare

Dr. Priscilla Nyanyang Joseph

Bahr el Ghazal

Lakes

Minister without Portfolio

SPLM

24

Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management

Ms.Sabina Dario Okolong

Equatoria

Eastern Equatoria

none

SPLM

25

Animal Resources and Fisheries

Ms. Nadia Arop Dudi

Bahr el Ghazal

Unity

none

SPLM

26

Water Resources and Irrigation

Mr. Ali Keti Ochie

Upper Nile

Upper Nile

none

SPLM

27

Wildlife Conservation and Tourism

Mr. Obuch Ojwok

Equatoria

Eastern Equatoria

none

SPLM

Regionally speaking there 10 full ministers and 10 deputies from Greater Bahr el Ghazal; 9 full ministers and 11 deputies from Greater Upper Nile; and 10 full ministers and 6 deputies from Greater Equatoria. In terms of full ministerial portfolios, these translate into 34.5% for Greater Bahr el Ghazal, 31% Greater Upper Nile and 34.5% for Greater Equatoria.

And with Greater Bahr el Ghazal having 33%, Greater Upper Nile 35% and Greater Equatoria 32% of the total population of the Republic of South Sudan according to the last national census, it is inferentially accurate to estimate that Greater Equatoria region has taken the lion share of the full ministerial posts while Greater Upper Nile have been minimally underrepresented.

This, however, is not the case when you consider the combined cabinet numbers—both full ministerial positions as well as the deputies. In that case, Greater Equatoria come up with lesser percentage of her rightful share while both Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile take slightly more than what they deserved. This is nevertheless the balancing act to compensate ministerial allocations with assistant ministers.

(C) Summary of the cabinet distribution at the Greater Regional Level

s/n

Name of Region

No. of ministries

No. of Deputy Ministries

Total cabinet share

Percentage share

Regional Ranking

1

Greater Upper Nile

9

11

20

35.71%

2

2

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

10

10

20

35.71%

1

3

Greater Equatoria

10

6

16

28.57%

3

Total

-------------------------

29

27

56

100%

-------------

At the states’ level, Jonglei state has 5 national ministers and 5 deputy ministers; Upper Nile state 4 ministers and 3 deputies; Unity state ZERO ministers and 3 deputies; Warrap state 4 ministers and 6 deputies; Western Bahr el Ghazal state 2 ministers and 2 deputies; Northern Bahr el Ghazal state 2 ministers and ZERO deputies; Lakes state 2 ministers and 2 deputies; Western Equatoria state 3 ministers and 1 deputy; Central Equatoria state 5 ministers and 3 deputies and Eastern Equatoria state 2 ministers and 2 deputies.

(d) Summary of the cabinet distribution at the State Level

s/n

Name of State

No. of ministries

No. of Deputy Ministries

Total cabinet share

Percentage share

State Ranking

1

Jonglei

5

5

10

17.85%

1

2

Unity

0

3

3

5.36%

10

3

Upper Nile

4

3

7

12.50%

4

4

Warrap

4

6

10

17.85%

2

5

Lakes

2

2

4

7.14%

6

6

Northern Bahr el Ghazal

2

0

2

3.57%

9

7

Western Bahr el Ghazal

2

2

4

7.14%

6

8

Western Equatoria

3

1

4

7.14%

5

9

Central Equatoria

5

3

8

14.29%

3

10

Eastern Equatoria

2

2

4

7.14%

6

Total

------------------------

29

27

56

100%

-------------

These numbers indicate that, on the one hand, Jonglei, Warrap and Central Equatoria states have been allocated more seats in the cabinet relative to other states within their respective Greater Regions, population size notwithstanding. While, on the other hand, Unity and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states have been proportionally marginalized in comparison to other sister states within their respective Greater Regions, notwithstanding the population size.

Is the new government a lean and a broad-based one? Whether or not this was the lean and broad-based government that President Salva Kiir promised the citizens of the Republic of South Sudan is everybody’s guess!! Suffice to say that, of the 56 ministers and deputy ministers appointed, only 4 full ministers and about 5 deputy ministers are non-SPLM members. There is no single SPLM-DC member in the entire new government.

Lastly, gender is another vital aspect of the new government we must analyze, particularly the constitutionally mandated 25% share for women in the national government, cabinet included. Of the 29 full ministers and the 27 deputies, there are 5 full national ministers and 10 deputies that are females. Does that satisfy the 25% women share? You bet! It is 26.79% of the combined appointees!

All in all, although there are some few issues here and there, President Salva Kiir has done a commendable job this time round. He deserves our heartfelt congratulations for not commencing the daunting task of (re)building the new nation on a wrong footing! Congratulations Mr. President and your team for the new and first government of the Republic of South Sudan!

Lastly, I would like to thank Mr. Gordon Buay (Canada), Mr. Parek Maduot (USA) and Mr. Peter Karlo (USA) for their invaluable assistances in tracking down and identifying the states and regions the cabinet members hail from. Any error or misrepresentation thereof is of my own making, however.

You can reach PaanLuel Wël at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (email address), PaanLuel Wel (Facebook page), PaanLuelWel2011 (Twitter account) or through his blog account at: http://paanluelwel2011.wordpress.com//

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