South Sudan to close embassies over economic crisis

Photo: Reuters

Juba, May 21, 2019 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s government is preparing to shut down at least 39 embassies over the financial crisis, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mawien Makol said.

Mawien did not give details about why the government wants to close some embassies. He, however, claimed that Juba would be well-positioned to manage the remaining embassies well after the closure of some of them and that the final decision will be finalized soon.

Some opposition leaders disagree with the decision, with one senior Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) official describing the move as “deliberate.”

“Oil revenues have increased significantly since the peace agreement was signed last September and they are talking about shutting down embassies and firing ambassadors,” the official told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) in Juba on Tuesday.

“This is a deliberate move. We have information that Slava Kiir has a long list of ambassadors he doesn’t like. He thinks those ambassadors are working against his regime. We even have a list of embassies that have been targeted by him, so this is not normal,” the armed opposition official explained.

The SPLM-IO official also accuses Kiir of recruiting fake and pro-government civil society groups to work against the implementation of the agreement.

The SSNA understands that a group of civil society agencies including the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance filed a suit against Kiir and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Machar. The group claims that they want a court to nullify the 6-moth pre-transitional extension which was approved by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) o May 3.

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