26th September 2020
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Juba advised against closing down Oslo, Paris embassies

Author: Rosemary Wilfred | Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2019

South Sudan embassy in Oslo, Norway | Credit | geeskaafrika.com

A political analyst has criticized the plan by the government to close some foreign embassies, saying it would hurt the country’s relations internationally.

Recently, the spokesperson of the ministry of foreign affairs said administrative measures have already been taken to close South Sudan’s embassies in France, Norway, Ghana, Kuwait and Italy, among others.

Amb. Mawien Makol attributed the move to the economic crisis facing the country.

“Administrative measures” have already been taken to close the embassies in France, Norway, Ghana, Kuwait and Italy,” Makol told DW on June 15.

“It’s finances, basically,” Makol said of the reasons behind the move. “Because of the crisis that we are in, we thought about trying to spend wisely and spend within our reach. We are paying these embassies from our resources.”

However, in his commentary, Dr. James Okuk believes that the decision was not well studied and that it could create suspicion and further lead to international isolation of South Sudan.

“It seems the whole thing was not studied well before they decided and that’s why it’s good to do a good study and analysis before you take a drastic decision like this,” Dr. Okuk told Eye Radio Monday.

He cited France which he says could use its veto power at the UN Security Council and its control over Francophone countries to go against South Sudan.

Dr. Okuk also argued that, closing an embassy in a country such as Norway that has always supported peace efforts in South Sudan and is still one of the biggest donors addressing the humanitarian crisis in the country, is a bad idea.

“What could be done in a situation like this is just to downsize the number of diplomats you have in a country like that and then minimize the spending, this is what many countries do,” Dr. Okuk continued.

He urges the government to rethink the decision to avoid future diplomatic implications.

“They need to go and talk with them openly that the decision was taken without studies and ‘Now we found out that we were mistaken. So we are sorry. We apologize and this is the way we would like to go about it. Maybe we will only downsize to this level’,” he advised.

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