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JUBA - 16 May 2019

Government fires 40 diplomats

Photo: Undersecretary of the ministry of foreign affairs Baak Valentino
Photo: Undersecretary of the ministry of foreign affairs Baak Valentino

South Sudan government has fired 40 diplomats for allegedly defying orders to report to work, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said.

South Sudan diplomatic and consular service law says absence from work for 45 days without permission is considered a resignation.

Mawien Makol, the official spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs, told Radio Tamazuj Thursday 40 diplomats had been fired for spending a long period of time without reporting to work.

He added that the diplomats were fired for their absence without giving any explanations. “Most of them were serving aboard,” he said.

“The diplomats who have been dismissed will be given their rights and the ministry of finance will work on the issue,” he added.

Mawien pointed out that all dismissed diplomats are asked to return their diplomatic passports, including passports held by their spouses and underage children to the nearest South Sudan embassy.

Separately, Mawien revealed that the country’s diplomats have not been paid for nearly five months, citing financial difficulties.

“But we think that the economic situation will improve because the government is now implementing the revitalized peace agreement,” he said.

South Sudan has large oil deposits but exports have drastically slowed since the country plunged into civil war more than five years ago.

President Salva Kiir and opposition leaders failed to form a unity government as stipulated in the peace deal by May 12. The formation of the new government was extended by six months to November.