March 13, 2018 / 10:04 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-South Sudan president fires finance minister and blacklisted general

(Adds details, background)

JUBA, March 13 (Reuters) - South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has fired his finance minister and a senior military official on a U.N. blacklist, a presidential decree said.

The decree, read on state radio late on Monday, gave no reason for the decision to replace Finance Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau with Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, who is from Kiir’s northern home area of Warrap. Dau is from Upper Nile.

Lieutenant General Marial Chanuang Yol Mangok, was dismissed from his post as assistant chief of the defence forces, also without explanation.

Mangok, who once was the head of Kiir’s presidential guard, is among six rival generals that the U.N. Security Council blacklisted for “fuelling the ongoing conflict and contributing to the devastating humanitarian crisis” in South Sudan in 2015.

South Sudan slid into civil war in December 2013 when a political crisis triggered fighting between forces loyal to Kiir and rebels allied with his former deputy Riek Machar.

Thousands have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict that has often been along ethnic lines. Several ceasefires have been agreed, then broken.

The conflict has also hurt the economy, with crude oil output at less than half of its pre-war level of 245,000 barrels per day. (Reporting by Denis Dumo; Editing by George Obulutsa and Andrew Heavens)

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