JUBA, South Sudan

In an unexpected shakeup, South Sudan’s president on Monday abruptly sacked his foreign minister and two other Cabinet ministers.

Salva Kiir sacked Nhial Deng Nhial, his foreign affairs and international cooperation minister, in a decree announced on South Sudan state radio. Another decree named Nhial’s replacement, Awut Deng Achuil, moving from the gender minister post.

Wildlife Minister Jenna Nunu Kumba and Road and Bridges Minister Rebecca Joshua Okwaci were also sacked.

No reason was given for the changes, but a source in the president’s office who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media said one possibility is a new role for Nhial, a former chief negotiator in peace talks in the war-torn country.

South Sudan, ruined by civil war, is trying to recover with a planned unity government with rebels as part of a peace deal to stabilize the country.

About 400,000 people were killed and 4 million others displaced after Kiir violently broke off from his former deputy, Riek Machar, in 2013.

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