South Sudan sacks 40 overseas diplomats for going AWOL

2019-05-16 22:16
South Sudan map (File: iStock)

South Sudan map (File: iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

South Sudan said on Thursday it had sacked 40 overseas diplomats for not showing up for work, some of them for years.

The foreign ministry in Juba said it had tried in vain "to engage with these diplomats who went Absent Without Appointed Leave (AWOL) over the past few months and years", including some posted to embassies in the United States and United Kingdom.

None had replied or returned home after finishing their postings - prompting their mass firing in a terse memo issued by the foreign ministry.

"Unfortunately the ministry was left with no choice but to let these diplomats go, following fruitless attempts to convince these diplomats to return to work in Juba," the ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Mawien Makol told AFP on Thursday that the whereabouts of the absconding emissaries - whose full names were printed in a table entitled "Dismissed/Terminated Diplomat" - remained unclear.

Those listed have been removed from the payroll and formally discharged of duty effective immediately, and instructed to return their diplomatic passports and those of their family members to the nearest South Sudan mission.

Cost-saving exercise 

Some had been posted to embassies in Uganda and Kenya, said Makol.

The statement cited South Sudan's Diplomatic and Consular Act of 2011: "Absence from work for consecutive forty-five (45) days without permission, shall be considered a resignation."

Makol dismissed suggestions the firings were a cost-saving exercise for South Sudan's cash-strapped government.

Juba had closed a number of missions abroad in recent years, and staff in some embassies have complained of pay cheques being delayed.

"It is just a normal procedure and it has nothing to do with economic challenges," Makol said.

South Sudan, the world's youngest country, plunged into conflict in 2013, only two years after achieving independence.

The war has left 380 000 people dead and forced more than four million South Sudanese - almost a third of the population - to flee their homes.

A peace deal signed in September 2018 has largely stopped fighting, but implementation has run aground and the planned formation of a unity government on May 12 was postponed for six months.

Read more on:    sudan  |  east africa

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.