South Sudan Replaces State Oil Company Head to Fix Fuel Crisis

Oil-producing South Sudan appointed its second director for state-owned Nile Petroleum Corp. in about six months, tasking him with solving fuel shortages that have left pumps dry at gas stations across the capital.

Machar Aciek Ader replaces Joseph Cleto Deng, who only took up the position in May, presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said Thursday by phone from Juba. Deng was fired by President Salva Kiir on Nov. 1 because of his failure to tackle the fuel crisis, Ateny said.

“We have an issue really about the drop in prices of oil on the international market which delays the country in getting the U.S. dollars,” Ateny said.

Deng himself replaced director Paul Adong Bith in May, in what the presidency said was a procedural change. Almost two years of civil war in South Sudan have cut oil production by about a third to 160,000 barrels per day, according to the Petroleum Ministry.

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