South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has suspended his entire cabinet and vice president in the largest reshuffle in the history of the two-year-old nation, the former information minister told AFP Tuesday.
"President Kiir wants to make a major reshuffle, so from the vice president downwards, all national ministers and deputy ministers have been removed," said Barnaba Marial Benjamin, who until his suspension Tuesday was the information minister and government spokesman.
In one of the four presidential decrees broadcast on the state-owned SSTV on Tuesday evening, Kiir relieved his Vice President Riek Machar from his post.
In the next decree, Kiir fired his ruling party secretary general and chief negotiator on post succession issues with Sudan, Pagan Amum, from his post and subjected him to investigation on corruption allegations and inciting public anger.
And in the last two decrees, Kiir then relieved all national ministers and their deputies, as well as police commissioners.
This is the first major shakeup of the government since independence.
Kiir has been emphasizing a lean government in the wake of austerity, but community politics has been a hazard.
In recent weeks, there has been a surge in the national newspapers of calls to relieve Mr Machar from his post, including from his own Nuer community, for practicing politics of anarcy and threatening to cause division of the country.