South Sudan president fires finance minister amid an economic crisis

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Photo credit: Reuters

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has fired the country's finance minister without giving a reason, although the move comes amid worsening inflation and a sharp depreciation of the local currency against the dollar.

The dismissal of the minister, Bak Barnaba Chol, was announced in a decree read on state TV late on Friday.

As the country's economic crisis has deepened, some civil servants have also gone for six months without being paid salaries.

Over the past two months the local currency, the South Sudanese pound, has lost about half of its value against the dollar, fuelling a surge in prices of food and other essential goods.

Chol, 43, an ally of Kiir, was appointed as finance minister last August and had undertaken various reforms including trying to clean the government employee register to get rid of so called ghost staff and also to plug revenue leakages.

Kiir appointed Awow Daniel Chuong, a former minister for petroleum, to replace him.