Nhial Deng Nhial

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Nhial Deng Nhial
Nhial Deng Nhial (cropped).jpg
Residence Juba, South Sudan
Nationality South Sudanese
Ethnicity Dinka
Citizenship South Sudanese
Education Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
University of Khartoum, Khartum, Sudan;
Master of Laws (LLM)
University of Dundee, UK
Occupation Lawyer & Politician
Years active 1980 — present
Known for Politics
Home town Wau, South Sudan
Title Minister of Foreign Affairs Republic of South Sudan
Religion Christian

Lieutenant General Nhial Deng Nhial is a South Sudanese politician and a member of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). He was appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs on 26 August 2011 after having served as the caretaker Minister of Defense since 10 July 2011.[1] Prior to that he served as the pre-independence South Sudanese Minister of SPLA and Veteran Affairs, from 22 December 2008 until 9 July 2011.[2]

Biography[edit]

Nhial Deng is a Dinka from the Bahr el Ghazal region of Southern Sudan. He is the son of the famous late leader William Deng Nhial who was assissinated before the Addis Ababa Agreement was signed between Sudan and South Sudan in Ethiopia, in 1972. William Deng Nhial was as thoughtful as John Garang was. His son Nhial Deng Nhial did not join the movement as a member of an average Southern Sudanese family, he came from a home of a politician and was familiar with the grief of losing his father when he was young. As a Dinka tribesman he is a man of honor and he has committed his life to the liberation of South Sudan as a member of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and of the Sudan People's Liberation Army. Nhial joined the SPLA right after its inception in 1983. He was closely associated with the drafting and negotiation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan, which was signed in Naivasha, Kenya, in January 2005.

Education[edit]

Nhial Deng Nhial completed his early education at Comboni College in Khartoum, Sudan. He then entered the University of Khartoum to study law. He graduated in the early 1980s with the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB), and earned a Doctor of Laws is a doctoral degree in law(JD) degree from the University of Dundee in the UK in 2008. He is fluent in both English and Arabic. There are South Sudanese media reports, yet unconfirmed, that following the conclusion of the Naivasha Agreement, Nhial Deng Nhial was slated to become the Sudanese Foreign Minister in the Government of National Unity. However following the death of Dr. John Garang in a plane crash in July 2005, Mr. Nhial refused entreaties to serve in Khartoum and opted to work in the nascent Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS).

Role in the government of Southern Sudan[edit]

Nhial Deng Nhial was appointed Minister of Regional Affairs in the Southern Sudanese cabinet in 2005 by President Salva Kiir. He however abruptly resigned from the cabinet less that six month later. There has been speculation as to what led to that resignation, with no clear reason being fronted.

In 2004 when rumors soared across Southern Sudan that John Garang was planning to dismiss Salva Kiir as his deputy and replace him with Nhial Deng Nhial. However, at a meeting of SPLA top brass held in Rumbek, in December 2004, one month before the signing of the CPA, Dr. Garang made it clear that those speculations were just that; only speculations, without any basis for truth.

In December 2008, Nhial Deng Nhial was appointed Minister of SPLA and Veterans Affairs by the then President of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir, replacing General Dominic Dim Deng who died in a plane crash on 2 May 2008. He returned to the South Sudanese cabinet with the military rank of Lieutenant General in the SPLA.[3] Following the independence of South Sudan on 9 July 2011, Nhial Deng Nhial was appointed Caretaker Minister of Defense of the Republic of South Sudan. On 26 August 2011, President Salva Kiir Mayardit unveiled his long-awaited cabinet with Mr. Nhial Deng Nhial appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan.

He is a member of the SPLM's highest organ, the Political Bureau, and served as the leader of the SPLM delegation in Naivasha peace talks. [4]

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