The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed reports of downsizing on the number of employees in South Sudan embassies abroad due to financial constraints.
According to Minister Nhial Deng Nhial the move also affects the number of foreign missions since some of them will be closed down.
In 2015, South Sudan had 25 functioning embassies across the world, and had plans to open up more as a way of improving the country’s engagement and relations with other countries.
But in the years that followed, the embassies experienced a reduction in the number of personnel, while others faced evictions over unpaid rent.
The government said each foreign mission had between 20 to 25 staff -with non-essential workers, which increases salaries and other operational costs.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said it would continue to review the status of its 39 embassies and a consulate in Dubai before deciding on the number to be closed.
Speaking yesterday at a function of the Ministry of Interior in Juba, Foreign Affairs Minister, Nhial Deng Nhial said that the reduction is temporary.
“Because of our resource constraints, we have had to cut back on our diplomatic representations abroad. We have decided that some of the missions will have to close down, other missions will have to witness a reduction in personnel.”
Minister Nhial said that most government agencies have had to review their expenditures following the conflict in South Sudan.
‘These things are being done as a necessity because of the difficulties that the conflict has plunged South Sudan into. There are other factors beyond the control of South Sudan that have also negatively impacted our situation –not only in the ministry of foreign affairs, but all government agencies basically.”
It is not clear how many foreign missions have been affected by the austerity measures.
Last month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sacked 40 overseas diplomats for reportedly not showing up for work over a prolonged period
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